Child Abuse Resources

Hotlines

Child abuse: National Child Abuse Hotline
1.800.4.A.CHILD (422.4453)
www.childhelpusa.org

Domestic Violence:  The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
thehotline.org

BAWAR (Bay Area Women Against Rape)
510.845.7273
email: bawar@bawar.org
www.bawar.org

SFWAR (San Francisco Women Against Rape)
24-hour Hotline: 415.647.7273
email: info@sfwar.org
www.sfwar.org

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth: GLBT National Help Center, Youth Talkline
1.800.246.PRIDE (7743)

Rape/ Sexual Assault:  Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
1.800.656.HOPE
www.rainn.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline
800-656-HOPE, Option #1 (24 hours)

Suicide: National Hopeline Network
1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433)
hopeline.com

Self-Injury:  S.A.F.E. Alternatives
1-800-DON’T-CUT (366-8288)
www.selfinjury.org

Substance use:  24/7 Treatment Referral line
1.800.662.HELP (4357)
www.samhsa.gov

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Websites

Advocates for Youth – www.advocatesforyouth.org
BestColleges.com – The Realities of Sexual Assault on Campus
Clergy sexual abuse – SNAP www.snapnetwork.org
Darkness to Light – www.d2l.org
Digital storytelling, trauma – www.silencespeaks.org
Gen5 Youth Zine – my body my pleasure my choice (PDF)
Global prevalence of CSA –  www.brycs.org/documents/upload/UNICEF-CSAAC.pdf
Male survivors – www.1in6.org
Mothers of Sexually Abused Children – www.MOSAC.net
National Children’s Alliance – www.nationalchildrensalliance.org, a professional membership organization dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient – and put the needs of child victims first.
Ping Chong and Company – www.pingchong.org/undesirable-elements/production-archive/secret-survivors/
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – www.RAINN.org
StopX – www.unicef.org/protection/57929_46639.html, website for young people around the world to join forces to fight against the sexual exploitation of children. Started by UNICEF.
Survivor website in Chile – www.inocenciainterrumpida.net
TAALK – www.taalk.org including a teen survivors community.
TAASA – Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. www.taasa.org
Teen Mental Health – www.teenmentalhealth.org
Mind your Mind – mindyourmind.ca
Cope Care Deal – www.copecaredeal.org
Voices of Education – www.save.org
Trust – http://trustdocumentary.org/prevention-of-child-sexual-abuse/

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Organizations

Stop It Now!
351 Pleasant Street, Suite B319, Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 587-3500
Helpline: 1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368) (Monday to Friday, 9:00AM to 6:00PM EST)
Fax: (413) 587-3505
Email: info@stopitnow.org
www.stopitnow.org

Stop It Now! is a national, public health based organization working to prevent and ultimately eradicate child sexual abuse. Through its public education, public policy, and research programs, Stop It Now! challenges abusers and people at risk for abusing to stop abusive behaviors and to reach out for help. They educate adults about the ways to prevent child sexual abuse and promote the policy changes at the local and national level to support primary and secondary prevention strategies. Stop It Now! Helpline is a toll-free number for adults who are at risk for sexually abusing a child, for friends and family members of sexual abusers and/or victims, and for parents of children with sexual behavior problems. All calls are confidential and will be answered by a trained staff member.

CONNECT
Phone: (212) 683-0015
Email: connect@connectnyc.org
http://www.connectnyc.org

CONNECT’s Ending Child Sexual Abuse (ECSA) Faith Collaborative is a group of committed clergy, survivors, advocates, therapists and healers who engage in: education, advocacy and organizing to eradicate child sexual abuse in New York City.

With funding from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the ECSA Faith Collaborative Project has hosted workshops and community conversations across New York City with youth groups, seminarians, pastors and congregants in diverse faith settings to educate and talk openly about people’s experiences with child sexual abuse and what we can do together to prevent it.

generationFIVE
Email: info@generationFIVE.org
www.generationFIVE.org

generationFIVE’s mission is to end the sexual abuse of children within five generations. Through survivor and bystander leadership development, community prevention and intervention, public education and action, and cross-movement building generationFIVE works to interrupt and mend the intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on individuals, families, and communities. Rather than perpetuate the isolation of this issue, we integrate child sexual abuse prevention into social movements and community organizing targeting family violence, economic and racial oppression, and gender, age-based and cultural discrimination. It is our belief that meaningful community response is the key to effective prevention.

Planned Parenthood– have counseling services. Safe for kids to go and not be worried about reporting.
Phone: 1-800-230-7526
www.plannedparenthood.org


YWCA– some are very active with programs around survivor groups.
Phone: 202-467-0801
http://www.info@ywca.org
Almost every city has a hospital with a CSA unit & Child Protective Services- people within those systems who want to do prevention and early intervention work.

 

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Novels, Memoirs

Many novels and memoirs that reference child sexual abuse (CSA) place it in a larger socio-economic context, beyond the immediate intimate (often familial) relationship between the abuser(s) and the abused child. Such contexts include institutional, international, cultural, ethnic, historical and patriarchal contexts.

A Place to Stand (Jimmy Santiago Baca) – Baca’s harrowing memoir of his life before, during, and immediately after the years he spent in a maximum-security prison. Long considered one of the best poets in America today, Baca was illiterate at the age of twenty-one and facing five to ten years behind bars for selling drugs. A Place to Stand is the remarkable tale of how he emerged after his years in the penitentiary — much of it spent in isolation — with the ability to read and a passion for writing poetry. A vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man’s spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity. (ref. Amazon)

Babyji (Abha Dawesar) – This is a lighthearted story about the sexual awakening of a middle class urban teenage Indian girl. It does not include explicit references to CSA (as we define it), but does include several sexual encounters that could be construed as coerced and make us think about teen girl agency within the context of socially stratified Indian society. In one encounter, Anamika seduces/pushes herself upon the family servant, a young married woman just two years older than herself. In another, she forces herself on a friend/classmate her age. In another, she is seduced by an older woman, a family friend, and has an affair with her. All of these encounters make one question what is a child, how class confers privilege even on children, and how differently we might view this story had Anamika been a boy.

Bastard out of Carolina (Dorothy Allison) – The book, which is semi-autobiographical in nature, is set in Allison’s hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. Narrated by Ruth Anne “Bone” Boatwright, the primary conflict occurs between Bone and her mother’s husband, Glen. The novel examines societal expectations of gender roles and mother–child relationships. It also looks at how class, race, sexuality and gender shape Bone’s life and structure her relationships with others. The book was adapted into a film in 1996. (ref. Wikipedia)

Big Girl Small (Rachel DeWoskin) – Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old, with a voice that can shake an auditorium. She should be the star of Darcy Arts Academy, so why is she hiding in a seedy motel room? Perhaps it has something to do with a devastating scandal – and the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall. Big Girl Small is a scathingly funny book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and profound. (ref. Amazon)

Breath, Eyes, Memory (Edwidge Danticat) – Set in Haiti and the United States (New York City), the major conflict of the novel is the main character’s (Sophie) battle with her inner self. Because she is a child of rape (her mother had been raped at the age of 16 by an unknown man), she is a reminder to her mother of the wounds that had been inflicted on her. The mother, as a result of the rape, remains a wounded but resilient woman. She has come to resent her own self and body and practices the act of “testing” on her daughter (making sure that her daughter is still a virgin). Thus Sophie grows into the same type of woman as her mother: she fights a battle with herself as a woman, a wife, a mother, and as a daughter. (ref. Wikipedia)

Cereus Blooms at Night (Shani Mootoo) – Set on an imaginary Caribbean island, the book has several different story-lines, some set in the past and some in the present. The main narrator is a transgendered nurse who gets a job in a nursing home and takes care of an elderly woman who is thought to be mad and thought to have committed murder. Another story-line is this elderly woman’s childhood and CSA at the hands of her father after her mother inadvertently leaves her and her sister behind in an attempt to leave the island with her lover. Another story-line is the father’s childhood as the son of poor, quasi-indentured servants during the colonial period, who give him over to the church in order to get him an education. The book references poverty, colonial history, class structures, racial hierarchies, the construction of gender and homophobia.

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Enrique’s Journey (Sonia Nazario) – First published in 2006, Enrique’s Journey is a national best-seller about a 17-year-old boy from Honduras who makes the difficult journey from his home town, Tegucigalpa, to the United States, to be reunited with his mother. The non-fiction book has been published in eight languages, and is sold both in English and Spanish in the United States. It is based on a Pulitzer prize-winning series of articles in the Los Angeles Times published in 2002. (ref. Wikipedia)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou) – The 1969 autobiography about the early years of African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 17. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. (ref. Wikipedia)

Liar’s Club (Mary Karr) – When it was published in 1995, The Liars’ Club raised the art of the memoir to an entirely new level. Karr’s comic childhood in an East Texas oil town brings us characters as darkly hilarious as any of J. D. Salinger’s—a hard-drinking daddy, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at twelve, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all. Now with a new introduction that discusses her memoir’s impact on her family, this memoir remains a funny yet unsentimental and profoundly moving account of an apocalyptic childhood. (ref. Amazon)

Mwana (Valerie Kim-Thuy Larsen) – Though described as a novel, this is in reality a kind of memoir told in the third person through short stories. Set in 1970s Congo-Kinshasa (formerly Zaire), it tells the story of a little girl and her younger sister growing up and living in the Building Kasai with their mother and father. The novel contains references to a post-colonial environment, dictatorship, militarism, every day working people’s struggles, international racial/class hierarchies and urban poverty. There are references to familial violence and CSA as well as to quasi-institutionalized violence (the state, the church, pornography). The book does not differentiate or put a hierarchy on the different types of violence, but rather matter-of-factly describes them as part of the every day world of the two girls. “Mwana” is a word meaning “child” in Lingala. The book is only available as digital on Amazon Kindle books.

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids (Kenzaburo Oe) – The novel deals with fifteen adolescent boys from a reformatory in World War II Japan. The boys (including the unnamed narrator and his brother) are sent to a rural village (strongly echoing the regions of Shikoku in which Ōe was raised) to live and work. Upon arrival, the boys find the village afflicted by plague, with piles of rotting animal corpses dominating the atmosphere. Soon after the boys’ arrival, the villagers flee from the plague to a neighboring village, barricading the boys in and abandoning them to their fate. (ref. Wikipedia)

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Property (Valerie Martin) – The story is set in the US antebellum South during a brewing slave revolt and is told from the point of view of a plantation owner’s wife, who personally owns a female slave (a wedding gift), while the other slaves on the plantation technically belong to her husband. The female slave has a child by the plantation owner. There are references to a complicated social/class structure (colonists, aristocrats, mulattoes, freed slaves, slaves, landowners, Creole society). The book contains CSA, rape, physical violence, all observed or alluded to by the plantation owner’s wife in her description of her husband’s violent behavior towards the slaves. Though she is aware that she herself is his property, she is blind to her own complicity in the system of slavery and has nothing but contempt for her own slave, whom she views as a sexual rival. The book is an amazing and insightful look into the psychology of ownership/owning humans.

Push (Sapphire) – Clarice “Precious” Jones is an illiterate 16-year-old girl who lives in Harlem with her abusive mother Mary. Precious has recently fallen pregnant with her second child, the result of being raped by her father, who is also the father of Precious’ first child. The school has decided to send her to an alternative school because she is pregnant. Precious is furious, but the counselor visits Precious’s home and convinces her to enter an alternative school. Precious enrolls in the school and meets her teacher, Ms. Blue Rain, and fellow students. Ms. Rain’s class is a pre-GED class for young women who are below an eighth-grade level in reading and writing and therefore are unprepared for high school-level courses. Despite their academic deficits, Ms. Rain strives to ignite a passion in her students for literature and writing. (ref. Wikipedia)

Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson) – Speak, published in 1999, is a young adult novel that tells the story of Melinda Sordino’s rape, recovery, and confession. After being raped at a party, Melinda is ostracized by her peers because she will not say why she called the police. Unable to verbalize what happened, Melinda nearly stops speaking altogether, expressing her voice through the art she produces for Mr. Freeman’s class. This expression slowly helps Melinda acknowledge that she was raped, face her attacker, and recreate her identity. Speak is considered a problem novel, or trauma novel. Melinda’s story is written in a diary format, consisting of a nonlinear plot and jumpy narrative that mimics the trauma she experienced. Since it was published, the novel has won several awards and has been translated into sixteen languages. The book has faced censorship for the sexual content of Melinda’s rape. (ref. Wikipedia)

The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison) – All of Toni Morrison’s work, both fiction and non-fiction, includes careful examination of the social hierarchies of race/class/gender, looks at history, power, ownership and violence. All of her books look at the way power and violence run through our lives, both on intimate and institutional levels, both in the private and the public sphere. This particular book, her first, looks at the CSA of a little girl at the hands of her grandfather. Toni Morrison has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Book of Salt (Monique Truong) – The story of a young Vietnamese man who leaves his employment in a French administrator’s kitchen during the colonial period to work as a cook on an ocean liner and eventually is employed (as a cook) in Paris by Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas. There is also his mother’s story of growing up in a patriarchal and abusive household, and who is eventually married to his father, who is also abusive. The novel is set in Vietnam and then in France in early 20th century. The book has references to CSA, wife beating, forced elder worship, the role of daughters versus sons in the traditional Vietnamese family, homophobia, colonial violence, and poverty. It also explores queer sexuality and passing (race, gender, class) in the French arts/bohemian milieu of the time. It is also an homage to food, to cooks and to cooking.

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The Color Purple (Alice Walker) – This is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of black women in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American society. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. (ref. Wikipedia)

The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy) – There are several different story-lines, set in India in the late 20th century as well as in the early and mid 20th century. One is a middle class woman who falls in love and has a sexual relationship with a Dalit man (“untouchable” of a lower caste/servant caste); another is her daughter years later who has been educated in the West coming back to see her grandmother; another is her son, who suffered an instance of CSA at the hands of a stranger in a movie theater (a vendor who sold him ice-cream when he was about nine years old) – he suffers from trauma throughout his adult life. Another story-line is the tragic death of a cousin of the children, a half Indian half British girl, and how this affects them. The book contains allusions to political upheaval, social hierarchies, revolutionary protest and religious conflict.


The Joys of Motherhood (Buchi Emecheta) – The story of a woman/mother set in 1970s Nigeria. It addresses poverty, patriarchy, polygamy, relationships between wives, the goal of having sons as the only way for mothers to obtain social status, the legality of wife beating, prostitution and social attitudes towards women’s struggles for survival. In the end, the book is an indictment of patriarchy in Nigeria. There are several references to child (girl) prostitution (which is also CSA), and the question of polygamy as a social arrangement falls under the rubric of who owns who, and how this impacts women and children.

The Other Side of Paradise (Staceyann Chin) – This memoir recounts the author’s growing up in Jamaica, poverty, abandonment by her mother, search for her father, growing awareness of sexuality and struggles to obtain an education. It includes several instances of CSA by various male relatives and acquaintances ranging in age from adolescent to elder. The memoir highlights social attitudes in Jamaica towards the education of girls, class issues, and rampant homophobia at all social and educational levels.

The Toughest Indian in the World (Sherman Alexie) – These are stories about American Indians rarely seen in literature: people who pay their bills, hold down jobs, fall in and out of love. A Spokane Indian journalist transplanted from the reservation to the city picks up a hitchhiker, a Lummi boxer looking to take on the toughest Indian in the world. A Spokane son waits for his diabetic father to come home from the hospital, tossing out the Hershey Kisses the father has hidden all over the house. An estranged interracial couple, separated in the midst of a traffic accident, rediscover their love for each other. A white drifter holds up an International House of Pancakes, demanding a dollar per customer and someone to love, and emerges with $42 and an overweight Indian he dubs Salmon Boy. Sherman Alexie’s voice is one of remarkable passion, and these stories are love stories — between parents and children, white people and Indians, movie stars and ordinary people. (ref. Amazon)

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Film and Video Media

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is not often treated seriously in popular culture. For example, talk shows frequently have a sensationalist and voyeuristic way of engaging with survivors, as well as looking at it as a rare occurrence that is a private and familial concern only. In reality CSA is commonplace and has larger societal implications about ownership and power relations. Most of the films listed below place CSA in a larger socio-economic context, including institutional, international, cultural, ethnic, historical and patriarchal contexts.

 

Boys and Men Healing, from Big Voice Pictures
This is a documentary film about the impact that sexual abuse of boys has on both the individual and on society, and the importance of healing and speaking out for male survivors to end the devastating effects. The film portrays stories of three courageous non-offending men whose arduous healing helped them reclaim their lives—while giving them a powerful voice to speak out, and take bold action toward prevention for other boys.  The film includes a support group of men and is testimony to the importance of men finding safe places to support one another and share their stories together. The film was produced in association with the International Documentary Association. (ref. http://www.bigvoicepictures.com/boys-and-men-healing/)

Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton (2006)
This is a lighthearted movie that is a social critique of beauty pageants for little girls. Olive, who is about nine years old, wants to enter a beauty pageant and her parents reluctantly take her to California from Texas to compete. The story takes place on the road (they drive there) and at the pageant. There is no explicit reference to CSA, but the film is an insightful look at the commodification of girls, beauty ideals for girls, and gender construction (for both boys and girls). What is also interesting is the movie’s seeming appeal to men to think about the socializing/sexualizing of girls: Olive and her mother are the only two main female characters; we see the social critique aspects of the movie mainly through her father’s eyes, and her brother, grandfather and uncle all offer different takes on masculinity and family relationships.

Mammoth, directed by Lukas Moodysson (2009)
An upper middle class couple live in New York City with their young daughter and her Filipina nanny/maid, who has left two children back in the Philippines with her own mother. The wife is a doctor and the husband is game developer/businessman. While the mother is at work and the father travels, the daughter develops a close relationship with her nanny. The father on a business trip to Thailand ends up having an affair with a very young prostitute. Back in New York, the mother is overwhelmed with work, isn’t sure how to mother, feels guilty, and also feels threatened by her daughter’s closeness with the nanny. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, one of the nanny’s sons, who is about seven years old, is sexually assaulted by a white/European tourist . The movie highlights on a global scale the sexual abuse of power, in this case facilitated by travel both for “business” and “pleasure.”

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Maria Full of Grace, directed by Joshua Marston (2004)
It is the story of a teenage Columbian girl from a small town who becomes a drug carrier (mule) in order to make some money. She has to swallow capsules full of heroin and fly from Bogota to New York City. The movie is about child trafficking and drug trafficking. It shows the connections between poverty and crime. It raises the question of agency for teens, especially for girls. It ends on the somewhat idealistic hope that freedom is to be found in the US, since Maria ends up staying in NYC, becoming an undocumented immigrant.

Monsoon Wedding, directed by Mira Nair (2001)
Set during the preparations leading up to and during a wealthy urban wedding in a Bengali family. During the wedding celebration, one of the characters notices one of the wedding guests, an old family friend, paying unwelcome attention to one of the young girls, who is about ten years old. She confronts him and accuses him of having sexually abused her when she was the same age. The patriarch of the family is overwhelmed and does not know what to do about the situation. In the end, he asks the man and his family to leave his house. The movie could be read as empowering/giving a lot of agency to female characters, though it is the father who ends up having the main moral dilemma.

Once Were Warriors, directed by Lee Tamahori (1994)
This is a film based on New Zealand author Alan Duff‘s bestselling 1990 first novel. The film tells the story of an urban Māori family, the Hekes, and their problems with poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, mostly brought on by family patriarch Jake. It was directed by Lee Tamahori and stars Rena Owen and Temuera Morrison. (ref. Wikipedia)

Precious, directed by Lee Daniels (2009)
Full title Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire is an American drama film directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. The film stars Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey. The film marked the acting debut of Sidibe.

Clarice “Precious” Jones is an illiterate 16-year-old girl who lives in Harlem with her abusive mother. Precious has recently fallen pregnant with her second child, the result of being raped by her father, who is also the father of Precious’ first child. The school has decided to send her to an alternative school because she is pregnant. Precious enrolls in the school and meets her teacher, Ms. Blue Rain, and fellow students. Ms. Rain’s class is a pre-GED class for young women who are below an eighth-grade level in reading and writing and therefore are unprepared for high school-level courses. Despite their academic deficits, Ms. Rain strives to ignite a passion in her students for literature and writing. (ref. Wikipedia)

The Healing Years, from Big Voice Pictures
Big Voice Pictures’ independent documentary film, The Healing Years, broke ground in the field of women’s issues and child sexual abuse prevention. The film has been broadcast on PBS stations nationwide, screened in international film festivals and leading conferences worldwide, and has become an acclaimed film in the field of child sexual abuse prevention for training and education. Without recovery, survivors of child sexual abuse face emotional struggle, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress, and the perpetration of abuse in their lives and families. This artfully produced documentary illustrates the poignant stories of incest survivors: former Miss America, Marilyn Van Derbur, speaking out; Janice Mirikitani, President of Glide memorial Church, San Francisco, who helps inner-city women addicts to heal from incest; and Barbara Hamilton, a 79-year old survivor who ends three generations of incest in her family. (ref. http://www.bigvoicepictures.com/the-healing-years/)

TRUST
TRUST begins in a small theater as a group of teenage actors receive a standing ovation, then takes us back to the beginning, when Marlin, an 18-year-old Hondureña tells a traumatic story about her life to the company. Amazing things unfold as the young members of Chicago’s Albany Park Theater Project transform the story into a daring, original play. TRUST is about creativity and the unexpected resources inside people you might discount because they are poor, young or of color. (http://trustdocumentary.org/about-the-film/)

APTP is a neighborhood theater project dedicated to helping young people reimagine their experiences on stage. Marlin’s is one of incredible struggle and pain, from enduring rape as young girl, to the difficult journey of immigrating to the U.S., to further abuse at the hands of her own brother, and finally to emancipation and overcoming substance addiction.

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Vers le Sud (Heading South), directed by Laurent Cantet (2005)
This is set in 1970s Haiti in a resort for white tourists. Three middle-aged white women from the US, Canada and the UK (though living in the US) go there on vacation and have sexual liaisons with young/teenage Haitian boys/men, to whom they give money. At the same time the movie shows the poverty and violence and political oppression happening outside the resort. The movie also focuses on one of the young men, Legba (which is the name of a Haitian “lwa,” a spirit, part of the vodou pantheon). There is a scene that implies that one of the women rapes Legba. There is another scene in which she dances with a very young boy, about ten, and Legba pulls him away. It is one of the rare movies that address sex tourism where the “customers” are white women and the prostitutes/sex workers are young black men and boys.

Water, directed by Deepa Mehta (2005)
Water (Hindi) is a Canadian film directed by Deepa Mehta and written by Anurag Kashyap, who also did the dialogue translation. It is set in 1938 and explores the lives of widows at an ashram in Varanasi, India. Water is a dark introspect into the lives of rural Indian widows and examines misogyny and ostracism. During British rule in India, child marriage was common practice. Widows had a diminished position in society, and were expected to spend their lives in poverty and worship of God. Widow re-marriages were legalized by the colonial laws but in practice they were largely considered taboo.

Plot summary: When Chuyia, a seven-year-old girl, loses her husband, in keeping with traditions of widowhood she is dressed in a coarse white sari, her head is shaven and she is deposited in an ashram for Hindu widows to spend the rest of her life in renunciation. There are fourteen women who live in the small, dilapidated two-story house, sent there to expiate bad karma, as well as to relieve their families of financial and emotional burdens. The ashram is ruled by Madhumati, a fat and pompous lady in her 70s. Her only friend is the pimp, Gulabi, who not only keeps Madhumati supplied with ganja, but also with the latest gossip. The two also have a side business: Gulabi helps Madhumati to prostitute Kalyani, the now second-youngest of the widows, by taking her across the water to the customers. Kalyani was forced into prostitution as a child to support the ashram. (ref. Wikipedia)

The Silence – Documentary about an Alaska native community suffering from CSA at the hands of (white) priests/missionaries – all the children in the community suffered; all are now adults; the priests have since died; the trauma of it still greatly affects the entire community: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-silence/timeline/

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (PBS Documentary, Independent Lens, two parts): http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/half-the-sky/

You and Me and the Fruit Trees, documentary in development, http://www.traceyquezadaproductions.com/index.html

Queen Ifrica – Daddy (2007) – Music video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYrXb_KJmEU

– Musically better version (acoustic): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl9GNLwPlPE

– Making of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKSvuHFYsw8

– Live version with spoken intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gM3_eIYxoc

The singer Queen Ifrica is a reggae artist out of Jamaica. The song and the video Daddy are explicitly about CSA, father molestation of daughter, though in one interview in the “Making of the video,” at minute 4:30, the makeup artist who is part of the set explains that the intention of the video is to “encourage fathers who molest either their girls or their boys not to do it,” and to raise awareness for those who are not aware that this happens. One line in the song addressed to mothers is “Pay attention even if the man a pastor.” In her intro of the song at a live concert, Queen Ifrica says “A lot of families around the world suffer from it. Doesn’t matter what your color, doesn’t matter what your religion. It could happen to someone you know, it could happen to your family.” However, one should note that the “solution” to the CSA in the video is that the father is taken away in handcuffs by heavily armed police officers. So the video is about awareness and discouraging abusers, but also about punishment.

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Celebrity Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

“Many celebrities who have been victims of sexual abuse have found the courage to peer out from behind their veils of secrecy. Gaining fame doesn’t expunge one’s childhood trauma or minimize the work that must be done to recover from such abuse. Oprah Winfrey, Anne Heche, Gabriel Byrne, Tom Arnold, Tori Amos, Axl Rose, Wynonna Judd, Shania Twain, Marilyn Manson, and Roseanne Barr have come forward to share their stories, empower others and liberate themselves. It is my prayer that by speaking out about the abuse I endured, parents will watch and listen to their children closely and victims will be empowered to break free of the guilt and shame caused by their abuser. I hope that they will internalize the truth that they were the defenseless innocent party (victim) in the crime of sexual abuse.”  Tanya Young Williams, www.huffingtonpost.com/tanya-young-williams/what-you-should-know-to-p_b_1623305.html

Antwone Fisher, Screenwriter, Author
Ashley Judd, Singer
Billie Holiday, Singer
Carlos Santana, Musician
Eve Ensler, Performing artist
Fiona Apple, Singer
Mary J. Blige, Singer
Maya Angelou, Poet, Author, Speaker
Missy Elliot, Singer
Queen Latifah, Actress
Rosie Perez, Actress and Activist
Scott Brown, former US Senator
Scott Weiland, Musician
Sugar Ray Leonard, Boxer
Tyler Perry, Actor, Director

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