JERRY CARINO, @NJHOOPSHAVEN | April 14, 2015 | 10:05 a.m. EDT
For nine years, Sylvia Peterson sought answers to weighty questions about child abuse and society.
She sought them to help herself — a survivor of abuse — and others.
She found them the hard way.
Her 2014 book, “Laura and Me,” chronicles her visits with Laura McCollum, one of only a handful of women in the country considered to be a violent serial sexual predator.
“I was molested when I was 7 years old by my grandfather, and I was hoping I could take her apart brick by brick and understand why people do that to children,” Peterson, who lives in Washington state, said via phone last week. “Until I understood, I was dead set against any sort of forgiveness for him and for my parents, who should have protected me.”
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Peterson is unusually qualified to address this cultural plague. A nurse for 35 years, she is now a chaplain and an advocate for people who have been sexually abused as children.