Has anyone shown any of the ACEs documentaries, (Paper Tigers, Resilience, Broken Places) to an audience of victims of domestic violence?  What about homeless folks?  What were  your experiences, if you have, as to how it was received? And if you haven't, what are your thoughts about showing the films to these specific audiences?

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Knowledge is empowering for these populations. Anything that supports the core concept that the problem is not what's wrong with you, it's what happened to you, should be widely available to trauma survivors as well as the general population.  I'd like to see this group pull our resources together to make this happen on a local and national scale. 

 

There is a place in Phoenix, the Lodestar Day Resource Center, that supports people who are in or near the situation of homeless--and hopeless--ness. They used to have a Movie Club (there was a room where movies were shown and popcorn was provided) and then, I believe, there was a staff person who moderated discussion after the film. This was written about in a book by Mike Tapscott, Homeless Hero: Understanding the Spirit of Home. I had the good fortune to work with the author. He said that most of the audience came for the popcorn and got the surprise of learning something more about themselves. for me, I saw how the arts (even in its nonfiction form, such as a documentary) plays a role in the healing processes that go on around us, in so many unique ways.

I work in the field of domestic violence, and  what I have seen, over the course of time is that many domestic violence survivors do not connect the early trauma in their lives with their present situation. In addition to policies that address the trauma and its longterm consequences in the live of people, it is also important to educate people, especially survivors of trauma, such as domestic violence, about the ways in which exposure to early trauma can and oftentimes shapes the trajectory of an individual's life. While I think that films can provide the space and time to educate others, we must, especially when working with survivors of domestic violence, make sure they are sufficiently healed or removed from the domestic violence situation when considering the appropriate time to offer a viewing of such films. That being said, I do believe that every advocate, who works with survivors, should watch these documentaries.

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