An area sexual assault survivor is sharing the details of her kidnapping more than 20 years ago in the hopes saving others. Fox 25/48’s Jessica Bringe was in Black River Falls today and has more.
“I was kidnapped in the Eau Claire area.”
Black River Falls middle school students are hearing the difficult story of local woman, Jessica Mullenberg, who survived kidnapping, sexual assault, and abuse twenty years ago.
“I was kidnapped by Steven Oliver on September 16, 1995 – but I was abused by Oliver from the third grade to the seventh grade and I was abused by other people when I was younger.”
Mullenberg — now Christianson — says she’s spreading the story of her abuse beginning when she was just five-years-old in the hopes of saving other children.
“People need to know about this because if they don’t know about it we can’t stop it and can’t put these bad people behind bars.”
The topic may be a little frightening and intense for eleven-to-fourteen-year old’s. But Christianson says if she’d known earlier her story may have played out differently.
“I wish I would have known what child abuse was, what grooming was, what is appropriate for an adult to touch and not to touch. If I would have known that I think I would have been in a different place right now.”
Eighth grader Asia Rave says she’s already been a witness to abuse and is grateful Christianson is speaking out.
“I think it’s a really good thing so people know how to cope with it and what’s going on and how they should come out about it and tell someone.”
And principal Dave Roou says he hopes students at least take away the reminder to be kind to other students – because you never know what they’re going through.
“It is true in our school, and schools across the county, that kids are mean to one another and it can rise to bullying and are you going to be the one who takes part in that or are a bystander that does nothing or steps in like we teach kids to do and does something.”
Christianson encourages parents to speak with their children. Especially as April is Child Abuse Awareness Month.
In Black River Falls, Jessica Bringe Fox 25/48 News at Nine.