Breaking Silence
TitleBreaking Silence
Director Theresa Tollini Future Educational Films
CountryUSA
Year1985
Duration58mins
FormatUmatic video
DescriptionIt was the lack of information on incest and child sexual abuse that impelled Theresa Tollini to make Breaking Silence. Carried out over a period of four years, her research reveals not only the sheer number of children who are victims of incest and other forms of sexual abuse, but a justice system that fails to follow through with prosecution when incidents occur. This situation is the result of many factors; because it is such a taboo subject, offenders are protected by silence and can often molest for years. In many cases victims know the offenders - they are related; they don't tell because they are afraid of being threatened. 'If you tell, no-one will believe you and you will be sent away'. Children are left feeling vulnerable and powerless, unable to articulate their experience. Breaking Silence advocates a process of positive healing to help victims to grow beyond victimisation, using confrontational forms of therapy to provoke discussion and reconciliation between mothers and children.