The short is an animated version of Jill Starishevsky’s fantastic book of the same name, My Body Belongs To Me which was featured all over the media including Oprah in her final season.
If you care about children (nice right :-), please help get this out to the world. Share it with parents, educators and all those with reach to those people. PTA’s school administrations and anyone else who can help reach lots of people and get it in front of kids. Like it on Facebook. Tweet it and help us spread it around the world. Thanks for this help and please educate yourself on this topic.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in this country are sexually abused by their 18th birthday and it’s not in specific communities or demographics. It’s everywhere. The main reason this problem is so pervasive is because it’s too taboo to talk about. We’re hoping to change that (with your help).
Watch the short here: It is two minutes long with an additional two minutes of educational tidbits.
The press release is below in case you want to pass it to anyone in the media.
Thanks and please pay it forward!!!!
“My Body Belongs To Me”
New animated short aims to educate children about sexual abuse and empower them to speak up
New York, NY—April 23, 2013—Executive producers Michael Solomon and Josh Franer have created an animated short film, “My Body Belongs to Me,” based on the children’s book of the same name by Jill Starishevsky. The sole intention of the film is to be a free and highly accessible educational tool for parents and educators. The film lives at its permanent home on YouTube, available for everyone to view and pass around.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by their 18th birthday. Given these staggering statistics, Solomon and Franer, a documentary filmmaker who directed the short, felt strongly that a film that speaks to young children about sexual abuse in a manner and with language that are completely relatable was long overdue.
“The numbers were so shocking, we felt that we had to do something,” says Solomon, who first became aware of this crisis when Starishevsky, a prosecutor of child sex crimes in the Bronx, spoke at his children’s elementary school. “We wanted to create a tool for adults who want to begin a conversation with children about sexual abuse, as well as those who may not have the fortitude to talk about it but understand the importance. Beyond starting this dialogue, we believe it’s equally important for children to understand that reporting abuse is both empowering and smart.”
Just like Starishevsky’s book, the 4-minute short presents serious information to children in a very understandable and non-threatening way. It was created to be accessible and appropriate for children as young as 3 years old. Narrated by a gender- and ethnically-neutral child (we’re using “he” below for simplicity), the film tells his account of being inappropriately touched by his uncle’s friend. The message of how important it is to tell someone is driven home when the child tells his parents what happened and is praised, with both words and affection, for his bravery. The last image shows the child in a superhero costume, standing up empowered and proud. He conveys that his parents believed him and were proud of him for speaking up. As a reward for his heroic actions, he gets to tell his class all that he’s learned.
Starishevsky sees the film as the ideal digital accompaniment to her book, one that will certainly spread more awareness of this important topic. “I’m thrilled that Michael and Josh turned my book into a short film,” says Starishevsky. “The accessibility of the medium will make it very easy for parents and educators to watch it with children and start a meaningful dialogue about sexual abuse.”
“My Body Belongs To Me” also serves as the young age-appropriate companion piece to a larger project Solomon and Franer are developing: a feature length documentary titled, “Culture of Silence,” scheduled to shoot later this year. “We’re producing ‘Culture of Silence’ because we want to heighten the awareness of child sexual abuse, and hopefully ignite a national conversation about its prevalence and devastating effects,” says Franer.
Solomon and Franer are also developing a Spanish language version of “My Body Belongs To Me” and hope people feel compelled to translate it into other languages as well.
For more information on “My Body Belongs To Me” and “Culture of Silence,” please contact Pam Manela at In House Public Relations: office 212 477 4600; mobile 646 763 1267; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directed by: Josh Franer
Illustrated and Animated by: Shawn Feeney
Written by: Jill Starishevsky
Executive Producers: Josh Franer, Michael Solomon
Voice Over: Rainen Solomon
Music: Slow Runner & Michael Flynn