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'Little House'Actor Says She Was Victim of Sex Crimes

The actor who played the bully Nellie Oleson in the 70s TV series, "Little House on the Prairie," says she was a victim of sex crimes as a child. Alison Arngrim says she was sexually abused by a family member, starting at age six. She spoke on The Today Show last week about her new book, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, which talks about the childhood sexual abuse and how it drastically affected her life.

Arngrim said that she never thought she would be one to talk publicly about the abuse, but is now actively sharing her story and working with The National Association to Protect Children, a group that lobbies for legislation to keep kids safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four girls and one in six boys is sexually abused, and an estimated 39 million people in the U.S. are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Arngrim has said in interviews that she can now see that she had the signs of an abused child: she was withdrawn, cried often, and she fell asleep in school. She thinks her parents may have been in denial. She also says that playing the character of Nellie helped her to survive the abuse. Nellie was the character known for her manipulative schemes and unkind manner. Arngrim says that living through Nellie helped her to vent her rage about the abuse and helped empower her to fight back against her pain and survive.


"Little House" Star Alison Arngrim "Abused" (CBS News)

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