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Teen giving a voice to teens dealing with sexual abuse

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 19:19:22-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Martin Blanca just graduated from high school. The Wellington graduate is looking forward to all of the years of education he has planned.

"University of Florida for psychology and hopefully after these four years, I can enroll in law school. To look at cases to make sure no kid falls through the cracks." He said he wants to help kids.

"I was a victim of sexual assault in my sophomore year of high school. I didn't want it to just consume me, I'm a very active type person. I wanted to show people that they are not alone. A year of counseling I was able to build up the strength and start a club at my school."

He started Students for Sexual Assault Awareness, also known as SSAA. About 80 kids showed up for the first virtual meeting, and now it's grown to 150 kids.

Martín said part of the time includes the teens listening to guest speakers.

"We were able to have a lawyer, a therapist, the police aspect of it as well," he said. "I'm happy that I wasn't one of those voices that stayed quiet because I can actually help others now. Rather than just letting others live through silence."

Martín is using his website to inspire students to start a similar club at their own school.

Family friend and attorney Elizabeth Berkowitz said she can help.

"I'm willing to work with any student that's willing to host a club like this," said Berkowitz. "And we will help them get sponsorships, we will help get them speakers because sadly enough, it affects a lot more kids in our community than what people realize."

Martín wants to help as many teens as possible.

"Giving people their voices back is our goal, my goal really," Martin added.

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