At a news conference Monday night, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley revealed that she had suffered abuse as a child at the hands of a day care provider. The personal account was meant to call attention to the issue of child abuse and demonstrate that every child is vulnerable regardless of economic or cultural background.

“My mom sensed something was wrong, I never wanted to go. But she didn’t know quite what it was and didn’t think anything of it,” Haley said Monday. “And then one day I came home and I had a lot of bruises and a lot of issues. When she confronted the couple that was taking care of me they packed up and they left. So we never got to deal with it.”

“It doesn’t matter your background, it doesn’t matter your education, it doesn’t matter the wealth of your family,” Haley said in Greenville Monday night. “Every child is subject to child abuse. And it was a day-care provider that was taking care of me.”

Child abuse was the subject of the conference as officials examined Silent Tears, a report published by the by the National Child Protection Training Center of South Carolina. Although Haley had mentioned the abuse in her book, “Can’t Is Not an Option: My American Story,” on Monday she revealed that the incidents took place close to home by an adult trusted to take care of her. She spoke of how her mother realized something had happened but had no knowledge of how to address the problem. Haley hopes her story will motivate others to speak up against abuse.

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


S.C. Gov. Haley details being abused as child

Nikki Haley opens up on childhood abuse