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      Local abuse victim shares her story

      A local victim of abuse is sharing her story to help others who may be in similar situations.

      Mary Sorrendino is a licensed mental health counselor and substance abuse counselor in Syracuse. She is also a survivor of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

      Sorrendino says while she was growing up, she was abused by her parents. She dropped out of high school and turned to drugs to help deal with the pain.

      "Through this, I really thought it was my fault," says Sorrendino. "I had blamed myself for what had happened."

      After a spiritual experience, Sorrendino says she decided to turn her life around. She earned her master's degree, counsels others, and wrote a book about her experience called "From Misery to Ministry".

      She also speaks to groups to help others who were abused and to help educate the community about abuse. On Wednesday, Sorrendino was speaking to a seniors group at a church in Liverpool.

      Sorrendino says it's important for the community to talk about abuse because many people who have been in abusive situations feel shame for what has happened. She encourages any victims of abuse to seek help.

      "It's important that those who have suffered or been hurt that they come forward and talk to somebody," says Sorrendino. "If they're not ready to do that in a public form, that's OK, but do try to find somebody who can help you through it"

      McMahon Ryan, a local child advocacy center, will hold a town hall meeting to discuss issues related to abuse in the community. It will be held Thursday at OCC's Storer Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. CNYCentral will be streaming the meeting live on our digital channel, Time Warner 864 and 3.3.