The Unbreakable Child, Memoir Details Abuse

By Jennifer Baileys
October 10, 2010

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, KY (FOX 41, WDRB) - A Louisville woman is telling the world about the severe abuse she suffered at the hands of Roman Catholic nuns and a priest. Saturday, Kim Michele Richardson talked to Fox 41 about her book, "The Unbreakable Child".

"It was kept in my sock and buried on the playground many, many, many times," said Kim Michele Richardson, author. "This topic is no longer a topic, it's a humanity crisis."

That's one reason Richardson poured out her most personal childhood secrets in a memoir called, "The Unbreakable Child"."This is an important part of history and it is the first here in the United States," said Richardson.

She said it's important to make sure history does not repeat itself, because sometimes lessons disappear with time just like the orphanage. A small building is all that remains of the Anchorage orphanage. It's now the Owl Creek Sports Center, it was a gym back then and is once again today being used by neighboring children as a gym.

"For any survivor forgiveness is a powerful weapon," said Richardson.

Some of that healing came after she and 44 other children now adults won a lawsuit against a Roman Catholic order of Nuns because of the abuse. For those not fortunate enough to win that kind of victory, Richardson said maybe they can find some healing in her book.

"I hope many people will be able to somehow be able to tell their stories now and this door will be open to them," said Richardson.

Richardson will be at Carmichael's Bookstore at 2720 Frankfort Avenue from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, for a book launch and personal signing.

"Beatings and humiliations and force feedings, drug use to keep the orphans compliant," Richardson said. "If you told them that something was wrong you would be beaten."

A small bracelet is the only belonging she has from her childhood at the Saint Thomas/Saint Vincent Orphan Asylum in Anchorage, but Richardson will always carry with her the horrific memories from the first 10 years of her life.

She says the abuse was all at the hands of those who were supposed to be caring for her, orphanage nuns and a resident priest.


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