The new blockbuster hit movie – “SPOTLIGHT” – is making its wide release across the United States today. It is expected to be a contender for all the major awards. But the reasons you should go see it are much bigger than that.
The movie is based on the true story of how the Boston Globe newspaper’s “Spotlight team” uncovered the systemic problem of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic church in Boston (along with decades of cover-up). The Globe’s reporting started with a story and eventually became an award winning series — exposing 249 sexually-abusive priests in just one archdiocese and writing some 600 articles on the subject in one year. At the center of the story are our friends from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) – which has stood as a tireless advocate for reform in the Catholic Church and beyond, from Boston to the Vatican.
But Spotlight isn’t just a Boston story or a Catholic story – it’s much bigger than that. Spotlight is an opportunity to reflect for a moment on how far we have come thanks to the courageous and world-changing work of sexual abuse survivors everywhere. It’s the story of survivors of child sexual abuse coming out of the shadows and — at much personal cost — staring down accusations, rebuke, and shunning to speak their truth through tears and trembling. It’s the story of hurting individuals from all types of churches, schools, and clubs who have taken back their power, using whatever platform they can — from picketing and pamphlets to blogs and social media – to expose hidden dangers to children. It’s the story of the slow, painstaking work of survivors — often one at a time –holding a single church, school, or club to a higher standard. Courageous survivors standing up to the Mormon Church, the Boy Scouts of America, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the American School in Japan, and countless other schools, churches, and clubs. Spotlight is a opportunity for us to recognize all of these unsung heroes: survivors, hundreds of thousands of them, who have done their part to make the world safer for children today.
So, please honor the larger story by doing the following:
(1) Go see Spotlight this weekend. Take your friends. Encourage others to go see it. Put it on your social media. Tell the world this is a story worth telling and hearing. This is an opportunity to start a conversation in your home, neighborhood, school, and place of worship.
(2) Please “LIKE” (and consider making a donation to) these organization that, each in their own way, works to put an end to institutional child sexual abuse:
(3) Consider signing this petition to put in place important reforms that will increase the safety of children in the Catholic church:
Finally, if you would like advice about the legal rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a no-cost confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.
Together, in solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse everywhere, we can all do our part to help eradicate child sexual abuse in institutions of trust.