]]>When she was 5, Burke was assaulted by a family friend who was a retired mailman who would sometimes pick her up from school and do obb jobs around her house. The man was well liked in her Bay Area community.
Burke acknowledged her abuse after he was accused of targeting other children, but was feeling conflicted after her parents’ split. “I felt guilty for wanting his love and affection.” She ended up testifying against him in court, which she calls “the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I saw his face and the lawyers were asking me these questions and I was like, ‘What am I doing? Did he even do anything wrong?'”
The man was sent to prison for nearly two decades, but it wasn’t until Burke attended therapy that she realized what he was doing was wrong. “If I can just one person, for me that’s all that matters,” she says. “I’m telling my story. They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”