socialworkingingeorgia

all things social work

CSA: Coached Into Silence, sexual abuse in youth sports

on December 19, 2011

Visit the link below for a preview…

From http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrisgavagan/coached-into-silence-sexual-abuse-in-youth-sports

Coached into Silence is a feature-length documentary which deals with the sexual abuse of boys within the world of organized sports.

The film will tell the stories of a diverse group of boys whom the system failed to protect. Far more sinister than those failures of prevention, this film will also shed light on the organizational, institutional and legal systems which have conspired in attempting to silence the victims, while protecting their profits, their reputations, and in some cases the predators themselves.

Shielded by schools and leagues, these molesters can maintain their access to hundreds or thousands of children over the course of decades. For some of these coaches, their protection was on the field or on the court results. Their influence was strengthened with each trophy and each championship. Winning, and the fundraising ability that it created was all that it took for some organizations to look the other way. For coaches, all that it took to prevent suspicion over years and years of these abuses was their charming demeanor and a ready smiles. Some of these child molesters will live out their lives free and unprosecutable by the law–unregistered and unrestrained–resulting in an entire generation of crimes against children that could have so easily been prevented.

As Prof. Marci. Hamilton so succinctly put it in her book Justice Denied, “It is an either/or choice: we can either protect the predators or the children.” Yet as one insider told us, the belief is that “Institutions live longer than people, and so sacrifices must be made.”

These abuses know no boundaries and we are determined to represent the full scope of this issue. Children of all ages and ethnicities, of every socioeconomic status, from every sport and across all levels of sport have fallen victim to sexual predators who have been hiding in plain sight. We will be speaking to those who have been anonymous and those who have been All-Stars and Olympians. They are willing to recount the nightmares that they survived with the hope that other children may be spare the hell that they endured.

The film will explore how these abuses occur, the personal and societal cost, and paths that survivors have taken through the darkest times. It will also investigate what can and must be done in terms of education, awareness, reform & prevention.

Your support…

We have been filming Coached into Silence intermittently over the 2 years, as finances have allowed. We have spoken to some of the most influential people in youth sports and professional sports. We have interviewed leading voices in the fields of psychology and the law. We have shot in courthouses and State houses, and have had incredible access to ongoing criminal and civil cases. Every day not spent shooting has been put to use getting every piece in place, researching and pre-interviewing those who will take part in this final phase of production.

The funds that we are hoping to raise on Kickstarter will be used for the last travel-intensive portion of our shoot. This final phase will turn the spotlight over to those who have survived these abuses and become the true experts on this subject.

The experience of a dozen years spent working in independent film will be put to use in service of the goals of Coached into Silence. The same can be said for the talented professional crew that I am very fortunate to have assembled. You don’t get folks to work on a project like ours because they are chasing a large or easy paycheck. If you are going to face the horrors of the sexual abuse of children day in and day out…you have to believe that this work matters. You have to care. Once you scratch the surface on this subject, it is impossible not to feel a responsibility to help those that are in silence and shadow every day. We are also very aware that countless children are in harm’s way at this very moment.

Nothing will stop us from finishing this project. What your support can mean is the difference between finishing it in 3 years, or having it out in the world where it can make a difference, 6 months from now.

Though this project will begin ‘coaches abusing boys’-specific, it is this world of youth sports that will be our window to the larger issue, regardless of gender or connection to the abuser. These are abuses suffered by millions of boys & girls, survived by tens of millions of men & women in this country alone. These are all too common stories, and in sharing these stories through this project we can all work toward the goals of supporting the survivors, further education the masses about this issue, and preventing these abuses in the future.

We look forward to continuing the conversation here on Kickstarter and on CoachedIntoSilence.com & www.facebook.com/coachedintosilence . When the issue is silence, any related conversation is an immediate reward. You cannot turn on your television, open a newspaper, listen to the radio or sign online without knowing that the time for this film is now.

Thank you very much for taking the time to consider supporting this project.

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