Any of our readers across California or elsewhere who sadly suffered from sexual abuse as a child might be powerfully affected upon viewing the recently released film “The Tale.” Although the movie – chronicling the actual director’s experiences while an adolescent – will doubtlessly be painful to watch for some people, it might also reasonably serve as a catalyst for understanding and healing.
As noted in a recent in-depth ESPN piece on the offering, the story “vividly depicts sexual abuse of a young athlete by her coach.” Importantly, it conveys fundamental truths relevant to perpetrators’ guile and manipulation that purposefully seek to foster victim dependency.
We have spotlighted in many of our prior blog posts the various strategies employed by adult pedophiles to break down young people’s defenses and cloud their rational thinking. The Tale visits the disturbing process of so-called “grooming” pursuant to which an offender gains a victim’s trust. As the ESPN piece notes, that insidious manipulation involves “a long series of emotional manipulations” aimed at eventually getting a child to cross boundaries based on feelings of trust and guilt.
An additional point reinforced in The Tale is the ploy of predators to convince their young victims that they are more mature than they actually are. The bottom line with a child, or course, is this: That person is a child.
For a variety of complex (though eminently understandable) reasons, many child abuse victims do not recognize what truly happened to them until later in life. That obviously makes for a stark and disturbing realization.
Yet is can also be cathartic and empowering, especially if steps are taken to demand accountability, join voices with other victims, deter future similar actions by other like-minded criminals and pursue meaningful legal remedies.
Questions or concerns regarding child sexual abuse can be directed in confidence to a proven and compassionate attorney who works unstintingly to empower victims and help them reclaim their lives in powerful fashion.