Northern Colorado may be an affluent and a well-educated area, but many would be surprised to know that thousands of children in the area suffer from abuse and neglect.

The local nonprofit Realties For Children provided emergency funding for 5,618 children in 2020.

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Townsquare Media Northern Colorado is raising awareness and funds for the essential community organization with Realities Rooftop Raise.

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Townsquare radio stations New Country 99.1, Retro 102.5, 99.9 The Point, 94.3 The X and Power 102.9 are broadcasting on top of the Elizabeth Hotel rooftop for 36 hours on April 7 & 8. Donors can also contribute online or in-person with a bucket that will be lowered up and down from the roof.

As part of the fundraiser, Townsquare Media is also profiling triumphant stories of how Realities has helped abused and neglected children in our community. To protect their identities, we are keeping each person anonymous.

Here's one such firsthand story, submitted by a youth who overcame their adversity.

My siblings and I grew up in an abusive household. From a very young age, we were trained to hide our bruises. If anyone asked how we got the bruises on our faces, it was usually the dog or the stairs. We didn’t know that being abused wasn’t a normal thing and we wore long-sleeved tops and sweaters all the time to cover up what our father gave us. We were surrounded by drugs and prostitution, and by the time I was 13, I was homeless and on my own. While trying to survive in seventh grade with no support, I was raped when looking for shelter. When I found my dad to go stay with him, the abuse got even worse, and I tried killing myself multiple times. I would try to go to school, but by this time I knew I was different from the rest of the children. They didn’t know my smile was fake and that my pain was real. I was homeless, abused and scared. I wanted a different life, I wanted to have someone show me how I could change. And then it happened. Someone cared, got involved and saw me for the very first time and I have never looked back. And after all I have been through, I am graduating from high school. Sometimes I say, "Just look at yourself and how much you are doing." I feel amazing for the first time, and I will never let others ever take that from me again. One way or another, I am going to make it happen, because someday I want to be that figure of hope for someone else.

As part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Realities For Children is honoring local youth with Triumph Awards.

Here's a Q&A with a 2021 recipient:

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