Cheryl Burke Reveals: I Was Molested

updated 01/26/2011 AT 3:45 PM ET

originally published 01/26/2011 AT 12:10 PM ET

As any fan of Dancing with the Stars knows, Cheryl Burke exudes confidence when she’s waltzing, quick-stepping or doing the tango in front of millions.

But for the two-time DWTS champ, life wasn’t always so smooth: As a child, Burke was repeatedly molested by a friend of her family’s – and testified against him in court, helping send him to prison for nearly two decades.

“I’m telling my story,” says Burke, 26, who opens up about the molestation – and other struggles, including physical abuse by two former boyfriends – in her new book Dancing Lessons, (coauthored by PEOPLE senior writer Monica Rizzo). “They’re not secrets. There’s no shame.”

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