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Jan's Story

In the mid-1970's I was abducted twice and sexually abused by a very close family friend, a father of five whom we met at church. Over the three years before my kidnappings, he manipulated my parents, my siblings, and our community, and groomed me and my entire orbit into trusting him. He was charming and fun, tenderhearted, service-oriented, or so it seemed. He looked like everybody else in my safe, small, Idaho hometown. Unfortunately, this cautionary story is extremely relatable.

My story of abuse took place in the 1970's, but predators are still operating today, grooming and abusing millions of other children and families right now at ever increasing and alarming rates.  The ugly and bitter truth of insidious and pervasive child sexual abuse (1 in 4 girls, 1 in 6 boys), and the grooming tactics used by predators, is hard to talk about. But my family and I have chosen to offer our story honestly so that others might recognize the way predators operate right in our own family circles, congregations, neighborhoods, sports team, schools and more.

In early 2019, Netflix released the documentary, "Abducted in Plain Sight." Then, in October of 2022, Peacock TV began streaming a nine-part scripted series, "A Friend of the Family" and a new companion documentary ,that more fully explored the slow burn of the predator's tactics, manipulation and the subtlety of grooming. The same year "The Jan Broberg Story", a new paperback, e-book and audio book was published.


These projects, have prompted thousands of  people from all over the world to reach out to tell me their personal stories of abuse and trauma. The experiences, shared by those targeted individuals as well as their partners, children, parents, friends and more, are nearly universal in the sad fact that the abuse happened at the hands of a person that they knew, often being someone they trusted. The "familial" or "familiar" abuser is the predator in 97% of the cases of childhood sexual assault.

Here’s just one example that typifies many of the emails I received:

“Dear Jan,

When I saw your story, I felt so sad for you, and also inspired by how you’ve lived such a great life. I’ve struggled in my life, because I too was sexually abused for many years, by my step-father when I was a kid. Everyone thought that he was the nicest guy…”

It was these types of experiences, coming from people all over the world, that reinforced what I already knew: that sexual abuse is much more common than anyone wants to acknowledge. I understand the courage it takes to speak out, to seek help, to act and prosecute someone you know, no matter how upstanding that person looks in their community, or home. I shared my story to give a voice to the millions of others who have suffered this kind of abuse, the majority of the time being at the hands of someone they know.

I realize that the series, the documentaries, and the book, have given me a unique and powerful platform that have helped me reach a wider range of people. My ultimate desire is to inspire victims and all those in their orbit to not only survive, but to thrive; to become THRIVIVORS. I believe everyone should have a happy childhood—at any and every age. The healing path awaits for anyone suffering to take the first or the millionth step as they move forward in their unique journey of hope.  Furthermore, the more we can educate and to spread awareness about the dangers of the predators in our midst, the more we increase our ability to prevent abuse from happening in the future.

The Jan Broberg Foundation is a place to come together as an online community of support for victims (survivors) and their family members, partners and friends, all of whom suffer the repercussions of grooming, trauma and abuse. We never blame victims or their family members (who did not know); we embrace them, believe them, listen to them, and help them remove the perpetrators from their lives and from society.


There is hope for healing. There is hope for prevention.  Together we can change the world.

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