November 29, 2010

"Boyhood Shadows: I Swore I'd Never Tell"

Posted: 01:27 PM ET

By Terri DeBono and Steve Rosen
Directors, "Boyhood Shadows: I Swore I'd Never Tell"

While researching for our most recent documentary, we were stunned when we came upon one statistic: one in six boys are sexually assaulted by the age of 16!

I continued to be stunned at how little I really knew about this invisible crime… not until the 1970’s did child molestation get a name. Society does not want to hear or know about childhood sexual abuse….including me.

Who wants to know about Uncle Bob who is molesting boys? Or for that matter… coaches or priests or doctors or teachers?! This invisible crime goes unpunished because we won’t recognize it, and we won’t talk about it. Victims live in secrecy and society lives in denial.

While making the film, we heard one of the subjects compare addiction to forever trying to fill an empty hole. “Trauma creates a deep, dark hole in you,” the subject described during an interview, and you try to fill it. Whatever satisfies you, you just keep doing it because it fills up that empty hole.” However, the hole never really does get full. Especially not when the trauma is childhood sexual abuse.

It’s really the hardest thing that we have ever done as filmmakers…. when a therapist talks to these guys, he is trained to not take it home with him. Well, documentary filmmakers think exactly the opposite. You’re with your subject emotionally so that you can start following through and do the best job that you can later in terms of trying to tell their story.

I was not aware of the pain this causes. When I started realizing that these men in the film had carried the pain for up to 35 years without saying anything and here I am asking them to reopen that wound, I would think, “Oh my god! What are we doing to these people?

But the men in the film insisted that we move forward, noting that silence is part of the problem. “No one will believe us.”; “I swore to God I’d never tell”; “Boys don’t rat.”; “I never wanted anyone to know… ever”.

The main subject of the documentary is Glenn Kulik, a 48-year old man who, at age 10 experience sexual abuse at the hands of a friend’s relative. Kulik relays the shame he has lived with ever since and the addictions to drugs, alcohol and sex that have occurred as a result.

“Nobody wants to admit that another man raped him. But it’s happening. It’s growing, proliferating and, quite frankly, destroying the moral fabric of society more than anything else you can think of,” states Kulik.

After keeping silent for 30 years, what caused each of these men to open up and speak with us? Their answers are magnetic, mysterious. Their stories are uplifting and moving. The problem did not start with them. It stopped them…. Stopped them from becoming who they could have been. They broke the silence and spoke out. Today, they are finally comfortable in their own skin.

There are organizations that can help men speak out and heal. Some of those are Malesurvivor, Childhelp, RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and the Boyhood Shadows Project.

There are ways to help stop child abuse. Recognize some symptoms and act on observation. Make a report to authorities. You do not need proof.

1. Be aware of unexplained injuries.
2. Act on suspicions.
3. Notice changes in behavior such as aggression or acting out.
4. Notice a child’s fear of going home or not wanting to be with a certain relative.
5. Notice if a child is expressing in appropriate knowledge of sexual relations.
6. Notice unexplained weight loss or a child being sluggish and fatigued.
7. Notice a child’s lack of personal care or hygiene.
8. Notice if there is a decline in a child’s performance in school.

When we were asked to take on this project we were like the rest of society, naïve and totally ignorant of the magnitude of the problem. We knew at the outset that it would be a tough film to make – and even tougher to get seen – but we took it on because we felt that it’s a story that needs to be known.

Filed under: Abuse • Boyhood Shadows

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Joe G. (Illinois)   November 29th, 2010 4:35 pm ET

We are not here on earth to judge or condone..
But to love and overcome.

Vengeance is not ours to savor or unleash..
And anyone who has ever been re-born knows what I’m talking about and would never think otherwise.

But one may ask, “Why doesn’t God take the Breath of Life away from those molesters right on the first offense? Like why did God put a mark on Cain (The first murder on earth that killed his own brother) as so that he would live a very long natural life and nobody would lay a hand on him?!
I don’t know everything, but just saying..
Thanks and good day

IKHAN   November 29th, 2010 4:44 pm ET

Hi Larry,
Hi folks

On the latest staged terror threat. The Somali failed bomber in Oregon.
All thinking Americans and those with a modicum of intelligence have now realized that these so called " failed threats" thwarted by sting operations are just one of the tactics for perpetuating the climate of fear and paranoia which keeps a population in control.
The mainstream media may not report this sentiment but the public is becoming increasingly sceptic.
Come elections or a developing event like Wikileaks or whenever those powers that be want to divert attention from real issues such threats are orchestrated.
How else perpetuity of wars can be guaranteed, or assault on privacy, civil liberties can be justified. Or for that matter how elese would Big business peddle products like Body Scanners?

Smith in Oregon   November 29th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

It appears Israeli agents are involved in what is being leaked to Wikileaks. Virtually no mention in Wikileaks about Israel even thou a great deal of discussion that takes place in and by the US State Dept. is in result of Israel's intense pressure and lobbying for America to attack Iran. The comments reaching Wikileaks entirely appear to be cherry picked to further a Zionist war drumming agenda.

The evidence that Israeli spys had stolen the entire database, blue prints and schematics for America's F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet costing the American taxpayers some 170 BILLION dollars, not even mentioned in Wikileaks. A full 15 years of US Military technology breakthru's all gone in the blink of a eye, evidence and signature it was Israeli Spys that stole it, not one mention in Wikileaks. Further evidence that Israel is directly involved in what reaches Wikileaks.

IKHAN   November 29th, 2010 10:33 pm ET

@Smith in Oregon

welcome back , your posts were sorely missed.
The points that you make raise a lot of worrisome questions.

@Joe G (Illinois). Spoken from your heart. Whenever we witness a heinous crime, this is how the heart cries out.
In the Scriptures (Bible,Quran,Torah) God says that He has appointed a time for all creatures to answer for their actions – the Day of Judgement and that if He were to mete out punishment for a sin instantly, there would be none left on this earth.

LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA   December 5th, 2010 7:28 pm ET

@Smith in Oregon, Yes, I agree with IKHAN 1000%! Welcome back!!! I missed your gracious sharing of knowlege to us so much! However, I did still have IKHAN. (smiles) I thank GOD, THE HIGHEST POWER for the both of you. I'm positive that ALL of the blog 'INTELLECT' missed you too!

Jacqueline   December 6th, 2010 12:34 pm ET

So it's LKL now. Since Larry is leaving after 25 years, it's too late to cutsey up the title of his show. Show some respect for an old geezer who did so much for CNN in his heyday.

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