It’s Bigger than Best Picture: Oscar Winner Spotlight

Green Spotlight Room
Green Spotlight Room

By Cheri Roberts for Sickness of Silence

Each year the glitterati turn out while Americans tune-in to our version of the high school prom, the Oscars. We ask who wore what, who sat with who, who reacted badly to a non-win … did Kanye ambush someone here too? The Academy Awards are a glutenous staple to the country’s entertainment diet and last night the mother of all just deserts was served to the people when Spotlight won the Oscar for “Best Picture”.

While the media basks in the the afterglow of looped kudos, gossip and evening gowns; countless individuals  across the country breath a weary, but hopeful sigh of, not relief, but expectation. Spotlight‘s job is far from over. Those who have suffered the types of abuses portrayed on the silver screen full-well know the surface has barely been scratched and survivors know that long after this applause ends, the sickness will remain in the silence.

Spotlight is a testament to the diligence (and sometimes lack there of) of real journalists; a snap-shot into what makes an investigation an investigation (thank you Boston Globe) and most importantly, it hammers home, our kids are not safe anywhere. But, it is more than just a movie about a terrible thing that happened because that same terrible thing that happened is still happening all over.

In the United States 1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys is sexually abused.

20 million Americans, living right now, experienced parental incest as children.

Child pornography is one of the fastest growing internet businesses, ever, Growing by 150+% per year for the past 10-years.

More than 120K kids are now known to have been abused by the Catholic Church alone.

4.5 million public school students have experienced sexual misconduct or rape while at school.

Here in America, more than 1.3 million kids are sexually abused by someone every year.

Almost 500,000 child molesters are operating in the United States, right now.

The FBI says a sex offender lives in every square mile of this country.

1 in 10 men molest children. 95% of victims know who their abuse is. Few are ever strangers.

Abusers may be parents, step-parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, neighbors, coaches, clergy and even our teachers.

There are over 60 million survivors of child sexual abuse. I am one.

If you missed the movie entirely, I highly suggest you rent it on RedBox where it is currently available. It may well be the best buck-fifty you spend all year. That sentiment applies whether you have experienced the topic or not. Spotlight is a must-see movie for all. For those looking to delve into the Catholic Church story further, there is an excellent timeline available on activist website, Take Part,  HERE. If you want to see an interactive map of Catholic church abuses covered by media click HERE then scroll down the page.

spotlight world map

Just remember, the church is only one of countless abusers. If you or someone you know was abused by clergy, please take a moment to check out, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests HERE. SNAP was pivotal in helping the Boston Globe unravel and report on this case.

Here are some helpful links and phone numbers. Please click or call.

Links for Parents


  • National Child Abuse Hotline
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline
    1-800-656-4673 [24/7 hotline]
  • National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888
  • National Runaway Switchboard
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255) [24/7 hotline]
    1-888-628-9454 (Spanish)
    1-800-799-4889 (TTY)

If you are a journalist, blogger or videographer unsure of how to cover this very important topic, please check resources for covering sexual abuse of children HERE.



Join SOS childhood sexual abuse survivor, Cheri Roberts, LIVE on Challenging the Rhetoric Thurs. FEB.4th, 2016 @ 5pm PDT/8pm EDT for a special ongoing series, “Sickness of Silence”. Listen to “part 1” HERE. These 2-hour round-table discussions will feature both male and female victims, leading experts and even the pedophiles themselves. #SOS & #CTR are both rated PG-13. 

Here are some other SOS & CTR articles you might like  … 


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