SPRINGFIELD, Minn. (WCCO) — A family secret some Minnesota sisters held for years is now helping other abuse survivors heal. The story of the Weber sisters is featured in the latest issue of People magazine. As Liz Collin found the piece has already empowered people from across the county to come forward.
Their 3-page story in People is just one of the latest in a movement impacting movie stars to Olympic athletes.
“We as a group of sisters growing up in a small community on a dairy farm seem to be more relatable to the people that we’ve heard from,” Laura Bast said.
It’s been just five years since the sisters from Springfield have fully faced the nightmare haunting them for 50 years. That six of the eight sisters had been sexually abused at the hands of a family member.
Each sister thought they were alone. So, they told no one.
“By talking about it, it minimizes the pain each time they do,” Bast said.
Laura Bast is the oldest of the eight. The sisters don’t want to focus on the abuse. Instead, choosing to help others find their own truth. Bast likens what they’ve been through to an infection in need of treatment.
“Sexual abuse is much like that until you open up about it and share it with people that understand and can help you it’s going to just eat you up inside,” Bast said.
After a settled lawsuit against their accused abusers, the sisters have donated thousands of dollars to more than a dozen organizations in the state doing meaningful work. Even teaming up with Patty Wetterling to better educate Minnesota’s kids.
“There is hope, there is healing and there is help,” Bast said.
Known now as the Amazing 8 for their advocacy work. Helping others who’ve been silenced finally find their voice.
“We’re a very tight knit group of 8 sisters. Amazing sisters they are,” Bast said.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, counselors are standing by ready to talk. Find that link, more information on scheduling programs for schools and other resources below: