Marilyn Van Derbur, the 1958 Miss America, will discuss her history with child sexual abuse at the Strand Wednesday.
Marilyn Van Derbur, the 1958 Miss America, will discuss her history with child sexual abuse at the Strand Wednesday. (FLICKR.COM)

A former Miss America will visit York this week, but not for pageantry.

Miss America 1958, Marilyn Van Derbur, will visit the Strand on Wednesday to talk about child sexual abuse and the need for prevention and awareness in our area. As part of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, she will share her journey of recovery from 13 years of incest.

The York County Children's Advocacy Center and Turning Point, local resources that address abuse, organized the event. One of the goals of the event is to break the silence that shrouds the issue of child sexual abuse, said Kristen Woolley, founder of Turning Point.

"It's an absolute honor to (bring) such a remarkable, strong woman who has dedicated her life to bringing awareness and breaking the silence to York," she said.

It's important to take control of your journey to facilitate healing, said Woolley, a survivor herself.

"There's healing in telling your story," she said.

As of Monday, the Strand had sold 659 tickets. She said the attendees range from people in the field to educators to students, and child sexual abuse is all around us.

"I guarantee that each of us knows someone personally who has been touched by childhood sexual abuse," she said.

Tickets are still available and can be obtained that evening at the box office, through the Strand's website or by calling 846-1111. Tickets can also be obtained through links on both the Children's Advocacy Center and Turning Point websites.

To learn more about Van Derbur, visit her website at www.MissAmericaByDay.com.

-- Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdis patch.com.