JCW commissioned Max to write a custom piece for their fundraiser at the New York Public Library. It was unnerving to write and perform something so deeply personal and scarring to so many, as someone who isn't a survivor of child sexual abuse himself, but the poem was incredibly well received. So much so that JCW hired Max to adapt the piece into this video as a staple of their organization. The poem is read over footage of survivors with photos of themselves as children around the time of abuse, intercut with home video footage of those same survivors. The video was viewed more times than any other in the company's history.
Written and Produced by Max Stossel
Directed by Michael Litwak
Produced and Edited by Yacht Club Films
Survivors, thank you for your strength and passion for creating change around CSA:
Sasha Neulinger, Mike Pistorino, Chaim Levin, Bridie Farell, Katherine Jackson, Sima Yarmush, Hanna Holzberg, Cecibel Contraras, Eli Nash, Judith Klapperich-Larson, Gary Greenberg, DeAnn Tilton, David Huebner, June Blkitalianf, Melanie Blow, Tamara Schoor, Brocha Mishulovin, and Ana Wagner
MARCH FOR CHILDREN'S CIVIL RIGHTS
Some of the footage in the above video was shot during the march across the Brooklyn bridge for children's civil rights. Many survivors of child sexual abuse don't process what happened to them until years and years after it occurs, which makes it incredibly difficult to prosecute those responsible. This march was to remove the statute of limitations around child sexual abuse.
PERFORMANCE FOR SURVIVORS
We got to meet some incredible survivors throughout this process (Phil Saviano shown here, who inspired the Best Picture winning film, Spotlight). Their courage, strength, and passion for creating change around this issue is beyond inspiring, which made being asked to share this poem at the conclusion of the march an incredible honor. We hope this poem & video can continue to serve as an empowering tool for more survivors to speak out and aid in healing.