When I first met Megan Peterson in 2007 she was a scared child on a path toward destruction. Life had left her so scarred that she couldn’t even meet my gaze. She was self-loathing and in a deep depression; she now admits that she had no intention of living. Recognizing the potential for further trauma to Megan if litigation ensued, we approached legal action cautiously. We also knew it couldn’t get much worse for Megan, so with hope of a positive outcome, we filed a lawsuit using the pseudonym Jane Doe 121.
From the initiation of the lawsuit in 2008 to the settlement agreement announced last week, I have witnessed firsthand Megan’s transformation into an amazingly strong, powerful, and confident woman. She emerged out of the darkness and into the light. She found life and meaning.
Early on it was clear that Megan was motivated not by her own advancement but by helping others and the prospect that by taking action, other kids might never have to experience the horrors of abuse that she suffered. This attitude has only increased as I’ve seen Megan grow and mature into the woman she is today.
Megan is a testament to what one person can do; proof that one person can make a difference and has made a difference in the lives of kids forever unknown. She is now part of the global child protection movement. By bringing her journey of hope, help, and healing into the public light, countless others have hope.
Megan, you are a hero in my eyes. We stand in praise and applaud you and all of the other survivors who break the silence in the name of healing and give us hope for a brighter, safer tomorrow.