Keynote speaker Nathan Spiteri
Outreach Services Director, Paula Schoenberg
Nathan Spiteri recalled his life story of being sexually assaulted by a stranger at the age of eight years old and continued until he was 12 in a small town in Australia. At the age of 12, the person who violated him just disappeared out of his life.
Spiteri distanced himself from his family and when he went off to college he turned to drugs, alcohol and having violent sex. He had many struggles with relationships. Spiteri then moves to the United States to start a model and acting career. By distancing himself, he believed he would be able to forget what happened to him. He ended up having to take a bar tending job to make ends meet. Spiteri fell back into drugs, alcohol and the sex scene again. The night he hit rock bottom was on his birthday when he went to find sex in a gay bar and ends up getting beat up after he started a fight with a man.
He decided to tell a friend of what he had been through in his childhood and that friend help him change his life and get the help he needed. He opened his story up to his parents and his friends. One of those friends, back in Australia, wrote a newspaper article of Spiteri's childhood sexual assault that went viral. Spiteri was then flooded with daily emails from other survivors reaching out for help.
Spiteri tries to get as much resources as he can to help each of the individuals. He has just finished writing a script for a movie about his life and producers are interested in producing the movie. He is optimistic their will be a movie in 2020.
While in therapy Spiteri was asked by his therapist "What would you say to your 8 year old self?" He said "It wasn't your fault."