30 September 2009

How Mackenzie Phillips can redeem herself -- and help others

The celebrity magazines and TV tabloid shows are abuzz with actress Mackenzie Phillips' recent revelation that she had a 10-year-long sexual relationship with her late father, legendary musician John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, while both of them were heavily involved with drugs.

This kind of story can sell a lot of magazines. Sex sells. Scandal sells. And a good sex scandal outsells them all.

And I'm sure the story will sell a lot of copies of Mackenzie's new book High on Arrival.

But, as Mackenzie gets richer off her family scandal, I hope she will find a way to use that tragedy to help others.

While Mackenzie was already an adult of 19 when she first awoke from a drug-induced stupor to find that she was having sex with her dad, many girls much younger are victims of incest. According to the website Shattered Souls, 1 in 3 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18, and 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.

In addition, 70 to 80 percent of sexual abuse survivors turn to excessive drug and alcohol abuse. In Mackenzie's case, it was probably like pouring gasoline on the fire of her addiction.

But, rather than just sitting back and profiting from the sale of her new book, this is an opportunity for Mackenzie to speak out against drug abuse and incest, and help other victims of these two destructive problems.

I hope she will take advantage of this opportunity to turn her personal scandal into a positive tool to make the world a better place for other victims and potential victims of drug abuse and incest.

If she does not, then all she is doing is glamorizing both problems. And that can only make matters worse for those who could otherwise benefit from more positive advocacy.

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