Speaking about male victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse including experiences in childhood, is still a frighteningly taboo subject around the world.
When asked to be a part of this film, I was deeply honoured. Seeing it now in it’s final production, the importance of it simply can not be under estimated.
In knowing she had an uphill battle in making the documentary Forced Into Silence, LaShawn Pagan took on the subject regardless
One of the consistent challenges I faced throughout the making of this film was the fact that people don’t want to talk about the vulnerability of men, by making a gender inclusive statement of what victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse, I made people really uncomfortable to the point of rejection of the idea and, of course, my film
LaShawn, who identifies as a feminist, spoke of some of the more unexpected issues which arose for her.
Another challenge was dealing with misandry disguised as feminism, women who, not only reject the idea of men being victims of any sort, but hated the fact that I was talking about the facts and bringing the statistical data into the conversation – leading to their verbal attacks towards my person and my film”
Forced Into Silence has been nominated as a finalist on IndiWise – a platform for emerging filmmakers to showcase their film and gain exposure. Accolades and exposure are everything for success in the film industry, but as LaShawn said
Since I knew that I was taking on something so challenging, I just wanted to have at least one man see this film and know he wasn’t alone
The relevance of this documentary can not be underestimated. As LaShawn said:
For Forced into Silence to win, it would be so amazing, it would mean that it went from a film that no one wanted to finance or talk about to an award winning documentary
Forced into Silence explores what it means to be a man who has been abused by a partner/spouse, sexually assaulted or raped and an adult man who was sexually abused as a child. Featuring interviews with author, therapist and expert on boys, men and masculinity Andrew Smiler, Ph.D., speaker and CEO of Male Survivor Christopher Anderson, relationship coach, writer, speaker and presenter Jasmin Newman, as well as two former victims of domestic violence Forced into Silence is reveals the unique challenges of men who have been victimized and presents possible solutions to their ongoing plight.
The official trailer can be seen here, but I encourage you to watch the full film and VOTE