While discussing statewide reforms for dealing with child abuse cases at Greenville Health System Children's Hospital, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was compelled to open up about her own struggle with child abuse in the past.

Haley was joined by members of Greenville Health Systems, Senator Mike Fair and Bruce Bannister, to run through The Silent Tears report, a 336-page study outlining certain methods for approaching a complaint of child abuse, Greer-Taylors Patch reported.

"I am a victim of child abuse from a child care provider when I was little," Haley told the audience.

"When it happened to me, my parents didn't know what to do. They didn't know who to go to. No one knew how to handle it."

Although many were surprised by Haley's announcement, this is not the first time she has made this information known to the public. In her book, Can't Is Not an Option, Haley recalls what little details she can remember about the traumatizing incident.

"My mom said something was wrong. I never wanted to go, but she didn't know quite what it was and didn't think anything of it," Haley explained.

"Then, one day, I came home and I had a lot of bruises and a lot of issues. When she confronted the couple that was taking care of me, they packed up and they left. We never got to deal with it."

By exploring her own turbulent past, Haley hopes to shed light on important issues featured in the report released last May. She stressed helping to make parents more aware of signs and symptoms that could point to abuse.

"It doesn't matter your background, it doesn't matter your education, it doesn't matter the wealth of your family," added Haley. "Every child is subject to child abuse."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state child protective services (CPS) agencies received 3.3 million reports of child abuse or neglect in 2008. A similar analysis that did not include CPS records estimated that one in five U.S. children experience some kind of child maltreatment including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.