Hold Me Right explores the “contract of silence” about sexual abuse imposed by our society and questions how and why victims of abuse are often held accountable for the crimes they survived.
The statistics are staggering. If an individual wasn’t sexually assaulted, they most likely know someone who is. Homes, schools, workplaces, religious institutions, army services, community gatherings are considered to be safe environments, but those who were victimized in those places, don’t feel safe.. Through this project, bystanders will receive a ‘live pamphlet’ of what they can do to provide the right kind of support. An army of 40 voices speaking up will, hopefully, encourage victims who never talked about their suffering to speak up and seek help.
Despite all efforts to bring awareness about this issue to the public, perpetrators still count on the fact victims will be ashamed and frightened to come forward with the story and will stay silent. By shaming and, therefore, silencing victims, society enables assaults to continue happening. Once we as a society learn, accept and understand that our conceptions about sexual assault are conditioning the aftermath for survivors, once we create the cultural current that provides support and healing for victims, women and men will feel free to speak up, assured they will not be doubted and ashamed.
Despite widening awareness about this issue, many victims still feel shame and fear coming forward. Perpetrators rely on the protection of this shame and fear, maintaining a cycle of sexual abuse in secrecy. Once we as a society understand and accept that our conceptions about sexual assault are conditioning the aftermath for survivors, once we create the cultural current that provides support and healing for victims, women and men will feel free to speak up, assured they will not be doubted and shamed.
This hope is Hold Me Right. Let’s break the silence.
SUPPORTERS OF THE FILM
Chaunel Gaurdes - Project Envision - http://www.svfreenyc.org
Phil Saviano: http://www.philsaviano.com
The Voices and Faces Project: http://www.voicesandfaces.org
Safe Horizon: https://www.safehorizon.org
Prevail, Inc: https://prevailinc.com