“It's not my fault!”
Running time: approximately 80 minutes
One in 10 children will experience some degree of sexual abuse – sadly it’s not a rare occurrence. It happens at all social levels, in all countries, and in all races and cultures. Recent research has also highlighted that 70% of sexual offences against children were perpetrated by abusers known or related to the victim.
Because of the often strong feelings of guilt, shame and fear, victims will frequently not disclose sexual abuse for a long time and will sometimes never be able to talk about what they have been through.
The impact of abuse on the victims can be long term and devastating. Yet, despite being depressingly common, it is only in recent years that the lid has been partially lifted on this sensitive – still almost taboo – subject.
How our film is different
It's not my fault! is a powerful documentary which explores the long term impact of child sexual abuse through the harrowing – but ultimately inspiring – stories of two women who found the strength to survive. By filming the two survivors – Traci and Dee – at home and at work over a period of nine months, we hope you will gain a unique insight into the impact that sexual abuse continues to have in their daily lives.
As such, we aim to film all the action in the present moment – there’ll be no stopping and starting to capture additional shots. This approach produces the most truthful and compelling footage – and we have found that being in the present moment is also a great healer.
Because of the sensitive nature of this subject we have prepared ethical guidelines for filming which have been agreed with the participants and the crew. These include gaining informed consent, understanding how the film will be made and distributed, guidance on gaining access to support, and the right to both delete footage and to stop the filming on request.
Traci is a single mother of one adult and two teenage children. When she was just five years old her stepfather began to sexually abuse her. This abuse continued until she was 13 years old. In addition, as a vulnerable and neglected child she was also abused by other men during her childhood. When her mother found out about the abuse she threw Traci out of the family home. This additional trauma turned her, at the age of 17, to drugs and she was a dependent user for 15 years.
After many years of counselling Traci was finally able to break her addiction – she has been clean for 19 years now. Remarkably, and through sheer willpower and regular therapy, she has turned her life around and is now a respected counsellor and educator. But the wounds remain. She still struggles with low self esteem and feelings of worthlessness – common problems for victims of abuse – and has to work hard every day to overcome the feelings of shame, guilt and fear which threaten to overwhelm her. But she is determined to succeed and continue to heal.
Dee is a mother and grandmother. She was sexually abused from the age of three to 18. Despite trying to bring her abuser to justice when in her 20s, he was not convicted due to a lack of evidence. This is a common experience for child victims – fewer than 1% of abusers are ever convicted for their crimes.
Dee has faced many problems in her life, ranging from debilitating physical ill health to numerous episodes of severe mental distress including a nervous breakdown and several failed suicide attempts. Unlike Traci, she did not receive the support she needed and still struggles to come to terms with what happened to her when young. Yet, despite these setbacks, Dee is determined to shake off her victim status and find her own voice at last. This film shows how she makes the difficult journey to acceptance and healing, and how she responds to therapy from one of the world’s leading specialists on child sexual abuse.
About the survivors’ campaign
The aim of this film is to challenge the culture of silence that surrounds sexual abuse - especially within families - and empower the victims to cope with its consequences. By raising awareness of the long term impact of child sexual abuse it is also hoped that future generations of children will suffer less. Child sexual abuse may never be eradicated completely but it is vital that the taboo of silence is broken, awareness raised and a dialogue started in order to substantially lower the risk for children and ensure that appropriate support is accessible for the survivors.
If this documentary is produced, we will distribute the film as widely as possible, e.g. to the agencies, charities and professionals who work with the survivors. In addition, we will submit the documentary to film festivals and approach broadcasters around the world to screen it. Spin-offs from this film might also include an awareness training film for professionals working in this area.
Helping other survivors
We hope that by hearing the testaments of Traci and Dee other survivors will find the strength to unlock their own stifled voices. We also hope that the documentary will help these survivors by reminding them that they are not alone in their suffering and, as they witness Traci’s and Dee’s process of healing and acceptance, demonstrate that recovery is possible.
How we will use your money
Producers time: Casting, location recces, story construction, pre-production paper work, coordination
16 x £125.00
20 days of filming
20 x £150.00
20 x £150.00
Editor – 16 days
16 x £150.00
Film promotion and distribution
Accommodation – 7 x night for one person
7 x £60.00
Travel costs 13 x days shooting around the country
13 x £90.00
Thank you very much for reading our crowdfunder page :)