Georgetown student Yaya Chang publishes book about sexual abuse and recovery

Yaya Chang entered her first semester at Georgetown this August with much more than a high school degree under her belt.

Chang’s recent book, Hidden Behind Innocence, reveals her traumatic account of being sexually abused at 12 by her 26-year-old martial arts instructor, according to a recent article in American-Statesman.

The years immediately following Chang’s experience consisted of a painful recovery process. After her family moved from Austin to Bastrop County, Texas,  Chang stayed at home for what would have been her first two years of high school.

Mental and emotional healing came slowly; she spent about a year interning at the Travis County district attorney’s office in the victim witness division, where she would sometimes sit in on meetings with sexually victimized women.

Chang received legal justice in 2006. Her abuser, Lorens San Pedro, was sentenced to ten years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony. Her family filed two separate cases against the Austin-based martial arts school and Pedro individually, emerging with a monetary award in damages from Pedro.

If she receives the money, Chang, now 20, plans on using it to create a non-profit group dedicated to helping people or animals.  Already a published author, Chang is working on a second book about ethics.

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