Gov. Haley makes rare public disclosure
July 9th, 2013
12:33 PM ET
10 years ago

Gov. Haley makes rare public disclosure

(CNN) - In a rare moment on Monday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley shared publicly her experience being abused as a child.

Speaking at a press conference in Greenville on the state's efforts to combat child abuse, the Republican governor relayed her story, saying violence against children can happen in any community.

"It doesn't matter your background, it doesn't matter your education, it doesn't matter the wealth of your family," Haley said, according to The State newspaper. "Every child is subject to child abuse."

While Haley has previously disclosed her story in her book, "Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story," it's rare for the first-term governor to talk openly about it in a public setting.

When Haley was young, her mother asked a nearby couple living in a trailer to care of Haley in the morning while she worked. However, after a few days, her mother sensed Haley was uncomfortable.

"I never wanted to go," Haley said Monday. "But she didn't know quite what it was and didn't think anything of it."

"One day I came home and I had a lot of bruises and a lot of issues," she added.

The couple quickly packed up and left after Haley's mother confronted them about her concerns. "They packed up and they left," Haley said. "We never got to deal with it."

Monday's press conference was held to promote a study called Silent Tears, which provides South Carolina with a number of recommendations for improving child abuse prevention and response, according to The State.

"When it happened to me, my parents didn't know what to do," she said. "They didn't know who to go to. No one knew how to handle it."

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. asdrel

    Virginia, you made the massive generalization " liberals do seem to care to put a stop to the women getting raped, now hopefully and i wouldn't understand why would they not care equally for the well being of children"
    I assure you that a great many liberals like me, care just as much about children, women, and men who are abused, bullied, assaulted, or otherwise mistreated. Please don't generalize about people, or lump them into one basket.

    Anne, How convenient Gov Haley!!! I guess thats why you hate women!! "; that is just plain mean and hateful.

    July 9, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. freedomliker

    Things could be worse. Many of the liberal trolls in this comment section are happy about the murder of children.
    They justify it by arguing about the point it becomes murder. Child abuse does not move them if the child grows up and becomes a governer.

    July 9, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. Dar

    Typical Democraps taking about and acting like they know all about abuse or anything for that fact.
    Try being one of those people and living with it for the rest of your life every time you see or hear something that triggers you back in time. It isn't a grand way to live but we do for the most part survive.
    Unless we hear stupid people like MAMA spewing her rhetoric. Then we wonder why it was us and not them.

    July 9, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. YeahBuddy

    Liberals love to use the word 'hate' when they talk about anybody but themselves...
    but listen to the way they spew it.

    July 9, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Dano

    So I'm betting Haley's solution to combatting child abuse will be to cut corporate taxes and defund public programs designed to assist the victims.

    July 9, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Former GOP

    musta been desperate

    July 9, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. JohnnyKay

    I survived seventeen years in an abusive adoptive family before I walked away with the clothes on my back.

    Governor Haley is another story, full of self pity while ignoring the same problems in her own state.

    I have no sympathy for the self serving.

    Her tears? Drowning out the cries of others just like us.

    Go to hell.

    July 9, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Jason

    My prediction is Haley will run for president. If Hillary wins, Haley will have it in the bag.

    July 9, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. Fiona

    Child abuse takes many forms, and it happens - quietly - in families from all socioeconomic levels. I grew up in an affluent family, with well-educated, church going, socially active parents who were considered to be admirable people. Yet one was an abusive alcoholic, and the other ignored the addiction, and the damage being done to the children. The abuse was verbal (except for a few slaps here and there) and psychological, but it was deeply harmful. A child can recover from a punch, but not from having his or her spirit pounded down every day.

    July 9, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  10. hateuall

    Every chick on the planet claims she was abused as a child. So tired of hearing this garbage.

    July 9, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. mcr162

    For some reason I don't feel sorry for her. Actually I think she is lying.

    July 9, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. cbp

    Another confession. This seems to be the theme for politicians these days. They all have "something" in their pasts. It would be nice if they just wanted the legislation to pass because it is the right thing to do. Governor Haley should have great sympathy for single parents who need help finding day care or after school care and need some assistance to do so. They want to work and they want to know their children are safe. Their salaries tend to be low which make it all the more difficult. What will the Governor put forth to help these women and other families where the income level is under the poverty level. Will they get help with healthcare, food, childcare or rent or will they be left to live on their own? Helping others does not seem to be in fashion right now. Will the Governor change that idea in her state and by her leadership for this cause?

    July 9, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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