South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made a rare public disclosure Monday about how she was physically abused by a child-care provider when she was a child.
“It doesn’t matter your background, it doesn’t matter your education, it doesn’t matter the wealth of your family,” the Republican said at a press conference in Greenville. “Every child is subject to child abuse.”
The governor was speaking at an event to help promote a study called Silent Tears, which provides the state with a number of recommendations for improving child abuse prevention and response, according local newspaper The State.
Mrs. Haley disclosed the abuse in her book, “Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story,” but it’s rare she speak about it in such a public setting, CNN reported.
When the governor was a child, her mother started leaving her with neighbors while she went to work, however, after a few days, she started to notice her daughter didn’t want to go back.
“I never wanted to go,” Mrs. Haley said Monday. “But she didn’t know quite what it was and didn’t think anything of it.”
“One day I came home and I had a lot of bruises and a lot of issues,” she added.
“They packed up and they left,” Haley said of her abusers after her mother confronted them. “We never got to deal with it.”
House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister said he and Sen. Mike Fair, both Republicans, intend to prefile a bill that will address many of the concerns raised in the Silent Tears report, The State reported.
“I suspect this kind of issue is one that gets both parties’ attention, gets a lot of support on both sides of the aisle, and I would expect not a lot of legislative resistance in the General Assembly,” Mr. Bannister said.
The report found that most of those involved in handling child sexual abuse cases have no formal training directly dealing with child abuse cases, The State said.