I’ve been staying at the Sarasota Film Festival all week enjoying all the films and parties, meeting other filmmakers and industry people, promoting the film via radio and local TV even after it has played. I’ve even got in quite a few hours of beach and pool time. Today is the last day of this quite wonderful time for me. There are rumors of Karaoke Night #3…

But it’s also time to acknowledge that while I may have been having fun promoting the film, some of those who are featured in it and came to present it last week are dealing with some post-traumatic stress disorder after having gone public with their story in this way.

The following email excerpt from Beverly, who is one of the abuse survivors of Mamou, illustrates again how long-lasting and extreme the effects of the abuse and the silence are and how brave they have been in coming forward. Last but not least it may also provide some hope that there is healing in breaking the silence and experiencing the supportive reaction of the audience.

My talking about the PTSD / impact of seeing the film was in no way a pejorative or an expression of regret. It simply is factual and what is often happens when we re-live parts of our story. And if the process works its best, each time we “go back there” and have to face some of the trauma, we are able to process it a little more and lay some of the demons (non-spiritual demons!) to rest.

I find the outrage of some of the audience, and your family members who attended, and the media, very therapeutic. Within the community we grew up in, there is so little outrage and the “little girl” still inside me feels cared about because people are very angry at what was done to me. And while I am at it, that “little girl Bev” feels cared about that the story is being told, and that you are not ashamed to tell it, Scott and Luci.

Thank you so much, Bev and everyone.

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