LaQuisha Hall

Daily Point of Light # 3865 Nov 26, 2008

LaQuisha Hall is currently a Professor of Literacy at Knowledge Achievement Success Academy: College Prep. She especially likes being a teacher because has the opportunity to mentor and maintain relationships with her students. LaQuisha’s proudest accomplishment is completing the first draft of a novel based on her experience as a teenage sexual abuse victim.

After being violated by a well-trusted pastor and family member starting at the age of 14, LaQuisha battled suicidal thoughts and attempts, low self-esteem and depression. Facing a seemingly lifetime of emotional scars, she left home at the age of 16; ending the abuse. While residing with her father, she finally broke her silence at the age of 18, only to find sorrow again when her mother disbelieved her story. LaQuisha desires to be an example, encouraging others that God will still allow a person to be successful as an adult after a tumultuous past.

LaQuisha currently holds the title of Mrs. Owings Mills International 2009, in preparation for the Mrs. Maryland International pageant in April 2009. She actively promotes her platform, Silent No More! Sexual Abuse Awareness & Recovery, which presents a two-pronged approach—educating the public about the realities of sexual abuse and encouraging survivors through the recovery process. LaQuisha works alongside several organizations, including Turn Around, Inc., the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She also founded an organization, Queendom, where she mentors, encourages and teaches teenage girls in Baltimore City about feminine etiquette and/or sexual abuse. A large part of LaQuisha’s presentation is devoted to dispelling myths about sexual abuse and sharing recovery options such as counseling, hotlines and support groups.

LaQuisha is a member of Turn Around’s Speaker Bureau and Women Against Violence Everywhere (W.A.V.E). Turn Around, Inc., a private non-profit organization, assists victims child and adult victims of sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence. This organization reaches more than 10,000 people in the Baltimore City and County areas. She is also a member of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Speaker’s Bureau, allowing her to be available to speak all over the United States. She is also an Online Hotline Volunteer. RAINN is the largest sexual assault advocacy and awareness organization in the country.

LaQuisha’s additional and recent community involvement includes volunteering for Maryland Public Television, organizing care packages and letters for Give 2 the Troops, Inc., conducting an Adopt-A-Classroom fundraiser for Baltimore City Public Schools’ classrooms, mentoring through the United Sisters Organization, being a Domestic Violence and Breast/Ovarian Cancer Walk participant, donating toys to various organizations during the holiday season, decorating domestic violence shelters for the holidays, raising monies for Baltimore Child Abuse Inc., Sexual Assault and Spouse Abuse Center, Inc., RAINN and Turn Around, Inc., adopting local families for Christmas and participating in an Angel Tree Christmas Celebration. She has also met with celebrity, Krishnar Lewis, in order to help promote his song, “Sad Girl”, which advocates for sexual abuse victims. Also, LaQuisha has given many food and toiletry donations to her local fire department.

As a result of LaQuisha’s service to our community, many families have received support, mentoring and detailed information on how prevent sexual abuse. Troops in Iraq are still sending thank you cards and certificates to her because she has donated so many necessary items to them. In addition, many teenage girls admire and look up to her not only because of her ability to speak out against such a heinous crime, but also because she is a survivor helping and encouraging others.

Many call themselves a survivor simply because they lived through a catastrophe. However, living through a catastrophe does not indicate that the person lived after the catastrophe. A person can physically breathe in air, soak in sunlight and release a dozen smiles, but be deceased on the inside. LaQuisha considered herself a survivor of sexual abuse the day that she ran away from the environment, her mother’s house. While residing with her dad, she was frequently depressed and only pretending to be a happy teenager. LaQuisha was dying on the inside for family love, recovery, revenge and deliverance for desiring the revenge against the pedophile. By the time she went to college, her depression evolved into contemplating suicide. Late in her freshman year of college, she swallowed 119 Motrin IBs. She was not only dying on the inside, but she wanted to die on the outside.

A survivor not only lives through catastrophe, but moves forward with their goal. A survivor’s purpose is to not only heal themselves, but also to help others survive. Once a survivor has overcome a catastrophe, they then want to ensure that the same issue does not occur in someone else’s life. LaQuisha is unique and special because she lived through three years of sexual abuse. After coming to terms with what happened and realizing that her sisters were still in the home, she decided that she was going to make sure they would not be affected in the same way. She began calling home frequently and making sure they understood that she would always be available to them and that they could talk to her about anything. LaQuisha’s desire was to form a relationship with her sisters that she could not form with her mother.

In addition, her passion to help sexual abuse victims evolved her marriage in 2005. As a teacher, she encountered many students who confessed to being sexually abused. LaQuisha is seen as a person who can be confided in and who can help. She took on pageantry as a means to not only share her survival story, but also to further promote sexual abuse awareness.