Child sex abuse documentary in development
Conspiracy of Silence is a new documentary in development, set to get people talking, when it puts the problem of child sex abuse in the hands of the average Australian.
The Federal Government has announced a Royal Commission examining institutional abuse, but when 85% of abused children know the offender and the majority are relatives or close family friends, it’s clear this problem pervades all areas of society.
If you think it has nothing to do with you, you’re wrong. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost one million women and more than 300,000 men have been abused before the age of 15. That means you and I probably know someone effected by child sex abuse. So what can we do about it? Conspiracy of Silence will reveal just that.
The documentary will be driven by Chas Fisher, a survivor of sexual abuse, who will ask the average Australian to confront an issue we frequently dump in the too hard basket.
Lee Matthews, the documentary Producer, felt powerless when a friend first told him of his past, and soon realised that was exactly why the documentary needed to be made.
“I’ve since been collecting a team of filmmakers, friends, acquaintances, authorities and socially-conscious who agree this conversation needs to be had. I was extremely lucky that award winning director Monique Schafter attached to the project earlier this year.”
Schafter, a 30yo Walkley award winning Journalist and storyteller from Andrew Denton’s ‘Hungry Beast’, agrees we can all do our bit to address the problem of child sex abuse: “Chas Fisher’s willingness to talk about what he went through as a kid as a way to make sense of it, shed light on it and raise awareness of the harsh realities of society is brave… after all, avoiding topics doesn’t make them go away.”
The filmmakers are in discussion with Australia’s national broadcaster the ABC. However in their last stage of development, they still need to raise funds to go in to production on the documentary. Matthews has started a crowd funding campaign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2079049786/conspiracy-of-silence-casual-conversation-serious) to help this important message get to people it needs to get to, the Australian public. “We are so close to being able to hit the go button” says Matthews, “we just need a little bit of help to get us over the finish line.”
“If we break the taboo and just talk about the issue more openly then survivors will have a space to heal, we will all know how to support them better, reportings will go up, which will drive incidences down.”
A pretty lofty goal, which with a little help, the filmmakers may be on their way to achieving.