Matthew Sandusky, Founder and Executive Director of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, was a victim of childhood sexual abuse from the age of 8 to 17 at the hands of his adopted father, Jerry Sandusky. Matthew is working to turn his traumatic personal experience into a mechanism to prevent childhood sexual abuse and help other survivors heal.
Through his work with Peaceful Hearts, Matthew, raises awareness around child sexual abuse in local communities, supports the life-saving work of children’s advocacy and sexual assault treatment centers, and advocates for legislative changes. Matthew works with researchers, clinicians, the media, politicians, social workers, and child protection professionals to raise awareness and improve the quality and availability of services to survivors nationwide.
In addition to his advocacy work, Matthew is committed to empowering and educating children to use their voices and help protect them against abuse. He is working with other advocates to implement an in-school curriculum to empower children to use their voices as a first line of defense, along with parents and teachers.
Matthew is also an accomplished author, chronicling his years of abuse in his memoir, Undaunted: Breaking my silence to overcome the trauma of child sexual abuse, which sheds light on the truth about abuse and the healing journey that a victim goes through to become a survivor.
As an internationally recognized spokesperson, on the topic of child sexual abuse, Matthew is asked regularly to comment on breaking news. He has done a one-on-one interview with Oprah Winfrey, been featured in two documentaries, Happy Valley and Invisible Scars, and is regularly published in major newspapers across the country.
Matthew attended Penn State University, studying Business. He along with his wife and children currently reside in State College, PA. Through his work with Peaceful Hearts Foundation, Matthew Sandusky has moved from victim to survivor of child sexual abuse.
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"People tell me i'm courageous, i'm not sure if I am or not. What I do know though is that this topic is to important to remain silent and fearful. Only by using my voice have I been able to see the gift of my trauma."
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