In this episode, I talked to Janaya about how she was sexually abused at six years old by a male babysitter.*

Janaya Jessalyn - IG Post

Growing up, her family moved around a lot because her dad was in the Army. She has eight siblings. They moved to Greece when she was two and back to the States when she was four. Her and her family still speak Greek!

Her sexual abuse happened when she was only six years old. During nap time, the babysitter would take her out of the bed and into another room. The first few times, she just went to sleep to try and block out what was happening. Because Janaya used sleep as a coping mechanism, she is unsure of how long the abuse went on. As a child, she knew what he was doing was inappropriate, but she just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And he was an authority figure that she knew, so how could she tell him no?

Eventually, Janaya began locking herself in the bathroom and hiding in the tub until nap time was over. One day, her older sister asked her “is there anything going on?”

Janaya Jessalyn - Quote 1


Just last year, Janaya decided that she was done living in denial and now she was going to face it. She wanted to let her feeling be true. But because of her traumatic experience, she has a hard time opening up to people.

Janaya Jessalyn - Quote 2

Listen to the full episode to hear all the details and what she is doing now.

*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.

-Find a support system. Find someone you can talk to. It helps if the person has been through the same thing or something similar.
-If you’ve not been able to tell anyone about your sexual abuse, find someone you can really trust and talk to them. Easier said than done, I know. But please don’t hold it in! You can call the Sexual Abuse Hotline, as well. 1-800-656-4673.
-When you go on to have a relationship with someone, it’s important to establish a foundation where you can speak your mind and be open and honest.

Sexual Assault Hotline (lots of great resources and info here. See also “Get Help” page.)
JaKale’s episode
The Tooth Book
-Janaya’s favorite book series: The Selection
Hello Dolly songs
Janaya’s personal Instagram
Janaya’s baking Instagram
-Ending song: Heaven by 3 Doors Down (listen on the Hard Knocks podcast playlist on Spotify)

The way people treat you is a statement of who they are as a human being. It’s not a statement about you.

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