Breaking “The Silence” of Catholic Sex Abuse in Alaska Villages
The molestation and fear endured by young Alaska Native boys and girls are finally being brought to light in a new documentary called "The Silence."
“It was heart-wrenching to be that close to it and you feel—it’s not just something you hear, you physically feel it,” he continued.
The film “The Silence” is showing at the Bear Tooth Theatre this week and survivors of sexual abuse say it is a first step in not only making the community aware but also addressing a stigma that affects so many.
"Please forgive me and the church for any hurt that has come to you from the church," Bishop Donald Kettler told one victim.
“The healing couldn't start to happen until people started having honest dialogue of what happened,” said the film’s director.
It’s a dialogue of truth that is slowly turning into healing.
“It will take generations to heal, if that ever really does take place. We hope and pray it does but we recognize that we will have to work with people, the survivors, for decades,” said Robert Hannon, chancellor of the Fairbanks diocese.
“I know deep in my being that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I did nothing wrong and that's the hope that I had for victims, for survivors to get to that point,” said Boudreau.
“The Silence” was part of the PBS Frontline series will be shown in a special screening Thursday at the Bear Tooth Theater.
The show is about 30 minutes long and beings at 8 p.m. After the screening there will be a discussion between the audience, victims and experts on the story and how the communities are moving forward.
And moving forward is exactly what survivor Elsie Boudreau is doing.
She has turned her nightmare of abuse into a positive as she works for the Alaska Native Justice Center in the Alaska CARE Program working with Alaska Native children who have been sexually and physically abused.