child neglect

GASLIGHTING: The Movie That Should Make You Shudder

Gaslighting

GASLIGHTING is a twenty minute film packed with a raw and candid look into the true-life story of a teenage girl named Brooke, played by Hannah Walters, who has suffered sexual abuse as a child. In just a short twenty minutes, her whole life unfolds. With a mother who is caught in a domestically violent relationship and rearing three other children, Brooke is often left in the care of questionable adults who use her compliance and fear to their advantage. The child welfare system continually fails her. Held silent in mental fear, she is victim blamed by teachers, her own mother and a court judge. In essence, for Brooke, there is no safe place.

If this film makes you cringe, cover your eyes, gasp or even cry then you are one of the good ones. This movie is a raw depiction about how a child protection system, justice system, parents, teachers and caregivers continually fail children who have been abused.

GASLIGHTING is a perfect example of what society must fix in order to bring about change in our world. This movie is a reminder that the planetary social construct can no longer ignore the horrors being wrought upon the most innocent of its inhabitants, our children.

Children deserve to have a safe space. Children deserve care, love and protection. GASLIGHTING will remind you of something incredibly important. That teenager you can’t stand, who you think is so horrible, is most likely in even more emotional pain. Beneath their sullen silence, the lashing out, the self-harm and inability to communicate, is a child needing someone to listen to them tell us why they are broken.

As a survivor of sexual abuse I can assure you that this ripping of innocence shatters the very core of a child. I am a firm supporter of anyone working with children being required to go through an intensive course on recognizing the signs of child abuse. GASLIGHTING should be added to the list of required viewing.

Anger is not a base emotion. Pain is. Anger is the projection of that emotion. When you see anger you are really seeing pain.

Watch GASLIGHTING here:

Gaslighting

Please support  GASLIGHTING by leaving a review or donating to the work involved in utilizing this film for global education.

Vennie Kocsis is the author of CULT CHILD and other publications.  She is the host of Survivor Voices Show on Freedom Slips / Studio B, each Sunday at 6PM EST.  She is a child advocate, artist and uses her passion for creative therapy to reach other trauma survivors. Visit Vennie at her personal website, Vennie Kocsis Official.

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The Tired Children

I am a child, maybe around eight or nine years of age.  I am in a large house with at least three stories and a basement.  I am in the basement with many other children.  We are moving large objects, too heavy for our small bodies to be moving on a consistent basis.  I can’t quite make out exactly what the objects are.  They are square, almost like blocks of concrete.

I am watching myself in third person, up against the ceiling looking down.  My hair is somewhat matted as though it has not been washed in quite a long time.  My face is dusty.  I have on burlap pants and a t-shirt that is stained. I cannot see my feet to know if there are shoes on or if I am barefoot.  I seem to have been down here for a very long time.  All of us children have.  I look tired, hopeless, worn, and moving methodically.  We do not talk to each other.  We do not look at each other. We move systematically, moving the large objects from a pile on one side of the basement to stack them neatly on the other side.  I feel the heaviness of whatever we all are moving and organizing.  I see the utter weariness in all our hunched over backs.

The dream scene changes. I am in my own body now.  I am an adult now.  I am sitting in a room with a large makeshift conference table.  It is handmade with slabs of wood.  There are many people around it in matching chairs made of tree trunks and tree limbs and nailed together pieces of board.  I cannot see their faces.  Only their forms.  They are a mixture of mirage and shadow, shifting between color and black and white.  I know I am being expelled from the house.  I feel that this is a regular occurrence, that once we children reach adulthood, we are no longer needed there.   I feel glad inside. I don’t understand why they aren’t worried that I and all the others they have released, will go to the authorities to tell on them.  I am aware that my life has been spent in the basement.  They are each talking to me, one at a time, as if giving instructions or even a farewell, but I am not listening.  I am in my own head, devising a plan to come back for the children in the basement.

I awake this morning, with a pinched nerve beneath the left shoulder blade on my back.  I let hot water pour onto it in the shower.  I understand the emotion that moved through me last night.  This reality of emotional pain is felt in multiple ways.  It moves through my heart strings and sometimes settles into my muscles.  It is not always mine.  At times, it feels like the pain of every hopeless child wishing as I did when I was little, that someday someone would save me.

©VennieKocsis.com