Today, we are talking about recognizing the warning signs of child abuse and what we can do to help keep kids safe.

In this episode, I am joined by Suzy Ryan, an author, educator, Ironman athlete, and SCAD survivor, to discuss the prevalence of child abuse, the significance of child advocacy, education, and resources such as Child Protective Services (CPS) in combating this abuse, and how trauma can be turned into triumph.

As a survivor of child abuse herself, Suzy provides a comprehensive understanding of the different forms of abuse and their lifelong effects on children. Drawing on her experience and her role as an educator, she offers insight into the signs of child abuse and emphasizes the importance of understanding the underlying issues in children’s behavior, both for teachers and parents.

Throughout our conversation, Suzy recounts her experiences with abuse and how they motivated her to support children in similar situations. She conveys the necessity of helping these children and emphasizes the urgent requirement of reporting child abuse due to its severe physical and emotional impacts. We discuss the need for victims of abuse to share their stories, reinforcing the idea that opening up about one’s experiences can initiate the journey toward healing.

Beyond her advocacy work, Suzy has channeled her experiences into her book, “Saving Summer,” intended as a “bridge of hope” for students. This novel serves as a powerful testament to resilience, providing a narrative based on her life and those of her students. Suzy’s literary work, born out of her intention to bring about change, underlines the transformative power of writing and storytelling in the healing process.

Some key topic points covered in this episode include:

  • How enduring an abusive childhood shaped Suzy’s career and purpose as an advocate
  • The crucial role of teachers and educators in identifying signs of child abuse
  • The transformative power of writing and storytelling as tools for overcoming trauma
  • The importance of shifting self-perception from ‘victim’ to ‘victor’ in the healing process
  • How Suzy’s book, “Saving Summer,” provides a “bridge of hope” for students affected by trauma
  • The significance of child advocacy, education, and resources such as CPS in combating child abuse
  • The profound impact of child abuse on a child’s behavior and emotional well-being
  • The responsibility of adults in a child’s life to be observant and responsive to signs of abuse
  • The emotional toll of removing a child from their home for their safety
  • Different types of child abuse, including neglect, emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse
  • The link between early childhood trauma and adult health problems

About Suzy Ryan:

Suzy Ryan is an author, educator, Ironman athlete, and SCAD survivor.

After twenty-plus years of teaching bright-eyed, enthusiastic pupils and tired-eyed, apathetic ones, and everything in between, Suzy realized each and every student had a story to tell—some even traumatic as her own.

Her debut novel, Saving Summer, was born out of a desire to offer a bridge of hope for students, encouraging them to see themselves as victors rather than victims.

Awarded Valley Middle School’s teacher of the year in 2020, Suzy now teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grades at Carlsbad Seaside Academy.

Suzy is a Kansas native turned California girl, and she enjoys spending time with her husband and three adult children.

If you liked Saving Summer, please leave a review on Amazon and other platforms and continue to visit Suzy’s website for updates and special giveaways. Thanks for having a heart for Summer—if you’d like to share your own story of resilience, Suzy would love to hear it.

Founder of Warrior Publishing, Suzy is available for speaking engagements and can be reached at

Check out the video below to watch our interview:

Resources Mentioned:

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