Child abuse survivor taking her message of hope to the Miss Texas stage

Kalyx Centu
Kalyx Centu(KSLA)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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FOUKE, Ark. (KSLA) - April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and as the month comes to an end, a teen from northeast Texas who was abused as a child is shining some light on the problem by recognizing those who she says helped her make it through the abuse.

“I’ve decided to compete on the Miss Texas stage this summer to use my voice and share my story so I can help someone else,” said Kalyx Cantu, 17, a survivor of abuse.

[2022 Miss Texas Candidates]

Cantu is a student at Fouke High School and holds the title of “Miss Northeast Texas Outstanding Teen.” Cantu says she was abused as a child from the ages of 7 to 11-years-old. The person responsible for the abuse was sentenced to life in prison by a Bowie County jury.

“Thank you for helping me get my justice,” she said.

On Wednesday, April 27, Cantu honored the three women she says helped her stand strong through the ordeal, including Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Kelly Krisp.

“I was really pleased to see her take something that could wreck a person, could be something very detrimental to a person for the rest of their life,” Krisp said.

“It was definitely harder at the beginning. I had no intention of ever reporting it until I knew there were younger children being put in the same situation by the person that abused me,” Cantu said.

Cantu has started the foundation Stronger Than The Silence. She’s hoping to bring awareness of child sexual abuse into schools.

“That’s how we bring light to it. The more we discuss sexual assault, the more we bring it in school districts, the more we advocate for it, the more we can put it to an end,” Cantu said.

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