Honoring Their Voices, a virtual series, will amplify the voices of survivors and others with lived experience of child sexual abuse through engaging and compelling conversations.

Each conversation will be hosted live via Zoom and will include a Q&A session for attendees to chat with our special guests and experts.


 

Stephen Mills HeadshotAbout the Author: Stephen Mills is the coauthor of Next of Kin, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. He has advised and written for an array of public interest organizations in the fields of human rights & environmental protection. Stephen is honored to serve as an Ambassador for CHILD USA and a board member of CHILD USAdvocacy. He lives in California with his wife, Susan

“The trauma of sexual abuse is shared by one out of every six men, yet very few have broken their silence. Unflinching and compulsively readable, CHOSEN eloquently speaks for those countless others and their families. It is a rare act of consummate courage and generosity—the indelible story of a man who faces his torment and his tormentor and, in the process, is made whole.” 

 

Previous Events & Recordings

January 24, 2023 | 7 p.m. EST

In “Predation,” the first part of Stephen’s book, he narrates many types of loss from the child’s point of view: the loss of innocence, of trust, of bodily autonomy, as well as the loss of his father, which made him and his family especially vulnerable to the grooming and manipulation of Daniel Farinella, a social worker and camp director. As the details unfold, it becomes evident that Farinella also groomed and manipulated the organizations that he worked for.

Join Katelyn Brewer as she talks with Stephen about his childhood experience and explores grooming and manipulation with Andrea Harner, a forensic interview specialist at a child advocacy center. They will share with us why it is crucial for organizations to have safeguards in place to prevent child sexual abuse as well as the many ways that parents and caregivers can protect the children in their life.

WATCH THE RECORDING ON YOUTUBE

February 21, 2023 | 7 p.m. EST

The second part, “Flight,” of Stephen’s book traces the far-reaching effects of trauma on the mind and body. As Stephen grew from boy to man and tried to find his way in the world, his deepest self was at war, with self-destructive behavior careening out of control as he sought to numb his pain and shame. Until he found professional help and faced his abuse, he was unable to stop the downward spiral. What was happening? We now recognize this behavior as the mental and physical aftershocks of the traumatic experience. Renowned trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk says, “The single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in their own bodies,” and that is exactly the journey that Stephen recounts.

Katelyn Brewer will be joined by Stephen and Dr. Julie Brown Yau, a trauma therapist. Their conversation will focus on Stephen’s experience and how survivors may begin to resolve their own trauma from child sexual abuse. If you are supporting someone who has experienced trauma, we hope you will learn new ways in which you can help them in their recovery.

WATCH THE RECORDING ON YOUTUBE

March 21, 2023 | 7 p.m. EST

In the third and final part of Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood, Stephen is left to deal with the issues surrounding justice. How can he, at such a late age in his life, get justice for what happened to him and countless other boys that were victims of Dan’s? How could this man have been allowed to move from camp to camp, continuing to sexually abuse children? How could the law not protect children? Why were organizations and institutions seemingly brushing what happened under the rug? Where was the accountability? Why was no one taking responsibility?

You will soon learn in the third and final part of this series that Stephen is still on this journey. Katelyn Brewer will be joined by Stephen as well as two other survivors and fierce advocates for justice from child sexual abuse: Jim Clemente and Kathryn Robb. Both Jim and Kathryn have extensive legal backgrounds that will help walk us through statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse and what survivors are up against.

 

WATCH THE RECORDING ON YOUTUBE


Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood: At thirteen years old, Stephen Mills is chosen for special attention by the director of his Jewish summer camp, a charismatic social worker intent on becoming his friend. Stephen, whose father died when he was four, places his trust in this authority figure, who first grooms and then molests him for two years.

Stephen tells no one, but the aftershocks rip through his adult life, as intense as his denial: self-loathing, drug abuse, petty crime, and horrific nightmares, all made worse by the discovery that his abuser is moving from camp to camp, state to state, molesting other boys. Only physical and mental collapse bring Stephen to confront the truth of his boyhood and begin the painful process of recovery—as well as a decades-long crusade to stop a serial predator, find justice, and hold to account those who failed the children in their care.

The trauma of sexual abuse is shared by one out of every six men, yet very few have broken their silence. Unflinching and compulsively readable, CHOSEN eloquently speaks for those countless others and their families. It is a rare act of consummate courage and generosity—the indelible story of a man who faces his torment and his tormentor and, in the process, is made whole.

Learn more about Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood by visiting Stephen’s website here.