A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. Last year, in Michigan alone, there were more than 33,000 confirmed cases. Marquette’s Women’s Center and Harbor House brought a world-renowned, award-winning author to NMU to shed light on the often-neglected issue.
Gregg Milligan is an ardent abuse prevention advocate. He spent the better part of his childhood enduring physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of his mother.
“She sexually abused me, but I was also prostituted out by my mother for a few dollars,” noted Milligan, author of God Must Be Sleeping. “It would depend on whatever the individual had to pay. This abuse was rampant and lasted for eleven consecutive years. When I was finally removed from that environment, they abuse didn’t end, just the sexual abuse did. The physical abuse continued because abuse begets abuse, and I was placed with family members who did not break the cycle.”
After being housed in a series of foster homes, Milligan eventually ended up on the street. He considers himself the exception to the rule, having made it through college and a Master’s Program on a probationary athletic scholarship before becoming an IT executive in Southeast Asia. That’s why he speaks around the globe free of charge, to break the cycle and save one another.
“Stopping abuse is the right thing to do. It’s the moral thing to do. Those are solid arguments. But, it’s also socioeconomic, medically speaking, in a functional society the right thing to do. We all know what the economy is today. If you look at it, it’s not just the money that were losing in regard to non-productivity. You look at a pool to draw from of individuals who are educated and skilled; if those individuals are abused they’re not worried about going to school. They’re not worried about learning an education. It’s pure survival,” Milligan added. “When you remove organizations like the Women’s Center, what you’re literally doing is increasing the taxes.”
Milligan donated all the proceeds from any book sold at his seminar to the Women’s Center and Harbor House. They are always in need of supplies from toilet paper to coffee. You can help the cause by volunteering, donating money, or dropping off supplies to the Harbor House on Baraga Avenue.