“I had been violently sexually abused and assaulted and coerced into not saying a word.”
At the age of six William Kellibrew’s life changed in an instant, leaving him voiceless for nearly 30 years.
“Not having a camera at six years old to record, not having a polaroid to be able to capture even the apartment complex, it was all what I had to remember,” Kellibrew said.
Paralyzed in fear after also witnessing the murder of his single mother and brother as well.
“Part of my job as a survivor, part of my role and passion in life is really to be a voice for my mom who experienced sexual assault at the hands of someone who had murdered her that day.”
Crediting his grandmother who stepped in and gave him hope.
“My grandmother broke down that day and she was crying and I wasn’t even crying, but to see her take it seriously to me was the first start to my sexual abuse healing,” said Kellibrew. “I credit my grandmother with shaping the way we’re supposed to respond to victims of crime.”
Using his traumatic experience as a platform to be a voice for the voiceless.
“I found service in being able to advocate for others,” he said. “I figured if I could speak, if I could share my story then I could create a space where others could feel comfortable sharing their story,” said Kellibrew. “I think that safe space is how I got to where I am today,” he said.
On Friday Kellibrew became the first ever male sexual assault survivor to be the keynote speaker in the Quad Cities at an annual luncheon put on by Family Resources.
“There’s a prevalence there and even if one young man or one kid or one boy experiences this that’s enough for me,” he said. “I think we have a lot of movements that talk about sexual assault and often times the male voice is not included in that.”
Hoping to change one life at a time.
Last year the Family Resources survivor services department assisted more than 10,000 individuals and their families.
For 24 hour free crisis line response call 866-921-3354.
For more information on Family Resources’ survivor services click here .