Testimony from Randy Ellison
May 28, 2009
Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Prozanski, distinguished committee members, my name is Randy Ellison and I am a victim/survivor of sexual abuse by my minister as a teenager.
I have lived a life very alone emotionally and I have trusted no one. I have adamantly fought anyone, including bosses, who tried to control me in any way. Anytime someone at work tried to get me to do something I didn’t feel right about, I moved on and never looked back. I’ve had 5 different major careers and moved my family to 5 different cities and 18 different homes. I became an alcoholic and a drug addict. My daughters had to grow up without my assistance and my wife of 38 years has gone it mostly alone.
The power differential between a Minister, teacher or parent and a child is as great as the difference between the mighty Mississippi and a seasonal creek. An adult that important to a child is on a pedestal and cannot possibly do wrong in the eyes of the child. I never admitted I was a victim or that my minister/mentor was a predator until 2 years ago. It took me 3 months in therapy at age 56 before I could identify those acts as a crime. It has taken two more years to process the shame of being a victim and what I allowed to happen to my life as a result.
Most victims are never able to make the associations I did, even this late in life. If they do, most, as I, are unable to send the perpetrators to jail even with rock solid evidence due to the Statute of Limitations. Our only avenue to speak our truth and seek justice is in civil court.
Some would say that I am a successful victim. On the surface it might appear that way. But surviving is not living. I want the opportunity to go beyond being a survivor. The only way for me to become whole again is through the civil courts. Please consider this bill as a way to offer that option to as many child victims as possible.
Today this committee stands at a crossroads of helping define acceptable human behavior. Will you defend pedophiles and institutions? Or will you take a stand to make a difference and support child victims? I hope reach out your hand to the victims and vote to send HB 2827 to the full Senate without amendments and help shine light on this invisible epidemic.