Derek Clark’s audiences consider him to be the best keynote speaker for child abuse, neglect and family violence prevention conferences. He grew up in the foster care system for 13 years and gained a lot of powerful insight to help others. He inspires audiences with hope and change. His presentations are powerful and are full of specific insight and tools that will help professionals dealing with child abuse cases.
Here is one child abuse experience that Derek had to endure at five years old.
“My mother snapped, apparently having had enough of me. With anger in her eyes, she grabbed my arm and tried to pull me up the stairs. I resisted and fought back. I was yelling and she was yelling. It was very chaotic.
I threw up a big struggle that got out of control, still she overpowered me, and I could not pull away from her. She pulled me up the stairs to the bathroom and physically forced me to the sink. While holding me there, she turned on the hot water full blast, running it until the steam was rising profusely. She kept yelling at me, screaming how bad of a kid I was. She emphasized how terrible a kid I was over and over again. I remember her yelling at me uncontrollably. I think she must have totally snapped.
What she did next was incomprehensible. She restrained my body and forced my tiny left hand under the scalding hot water.
I was screaming, out of control and trying to pull my hand out of the water. It hurt so much as she held it there. I screamed “Mommy stop, Mommy stop! I’m sorry.” I was crying so loud, it hurt so much. I could not believe my own mother was doing this to me. It was like my life was flashing before my eyes and my whole body was shutting down. It was like she never heard me. I tried to get away but she looked at me with intense anger and said I was a bad kid. I thought I could get away, that I was stronger than her. But I couldn’t. I was only five years old. I was helpless and completely at her mercy. The skin on the back of my left hand was burned off and had come off in one big clump in the sink. I have had this scar ever since, on my body, in my heart, and in my mind. She burned into my soul that I was a bad kid.
All the other physical abuse I could deal with, but this particular incident altered me physically and mentally forever. This was the final ticker for the time bomb that was about to go off. I was no longer an innocent little boy. I was now overcome with a sense of shame and anger that would last for years. I realized I was no longer good enough and that I was not really loved. I felt worthless and unwanted.”
Watch Derek Clark share his story of brutal child abuse, neglect, rejection and abandonment. His foster care story is inspirational. He is a popular motivational speaker and keynote presenter for child abuse and family violence prevention summits, child welfare and foster care conferences.