The unwanted film festival

Survivor Stories

The following statements have been contributed by members of the survivor community who work with and are supported by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. They, more than anyone, understand the issues at stake and they are the ones who have had to endure the very real harms that the current legal landscape has facilitated. Each film poster below was inspired by the corresponding real survivor story.

It's Hard to Heal: Ten million views and counting

Survivor story 1

The ongoing distribution and viewing of images of myself being raped as a child has caused immeasurable harm to me in so many areas of my life. While the trauma of the original hands-on abuse ended and I have worked hard to heal from that, the circulation of those worst moments of my life caught on video is a separate and ongoing trauma. Every day, I know that strangers all over the world are viewing those images and videos of me being raped as a child and deriving sick pleasure from them.

Knowing that this is going on adds a constant stress and grief to my life, as I have no control over who views and…

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Break Free: The images don't just disappear

Survivor story 2

I have lived decades with the knowledge that there is child sexual abuse material circulating world-wide depicting my abuse. It has wreaked havoc upon every aspect of my life, even down to the most basic traits of my personality. Its looming presence has subtly forced the creation of a prison to be built within my conscious mind. All aspects of social interaction and societal integration are impossible for me. The paranoia induced by the looming fear of the discovery, by anyone, of the CSAM depicting my shameful experiences from...

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Wreaking Havoc: At any moment, anywhere, someone is looking

Survivor story 3

The sharing of child sexual abuse material is wreaking havoc on survivors all around the world. We are forced to relive our abuse over and over again for a new pair of eyes each and every time. We’ve been beaten down physically, mentally and emotionally to create this type of abuse and the distribution of it is just another kick while we are down.

The tools used to scan platforms for CSAM give us survivors such profound hope that one day we may be out of the spotlight. Without these tools we will never know closure because the abuse just never ends. Not only is the resharing of the content harmful to the victims in it, it is also…

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The Open Web: When 1 get's taken down, 5 more take it's place

Survivor story 4

The impact of being a survivor of child sexual abuse that was recorded is never ending. The anxiety, the depression, the fear, it comes and goes. When it comes, it’s like your entire world is collapsing around you, and half the time you don’t even know why it’s happening. Survivors like me have spent most of their lives being manipulated, having their feelings and their needs ignored in lieu of their abusers’ sick desires. And that continues with every share, whether that share is on a public website or in a message from one abuser to another. It’s not right. Our privacy matters.

Our safety matters. We matter.

Violated: They'll never forget it

Survivor story 5

We are the children who grew up thinking our images were out there forever, making us feel violated, making us feel we have no control over our privacy & dignity. We cannot let our system fail children; it is our human obligation to do our part and hold industries accountable to take down these images and videos. It shouldn’t be that complicated and no one should be confused.

Stolen Innocence: It's spreading in front of our eyes

Survivor story 6

I was abused from the time I was a toddler until I was about 7 years old. I live every day with the impacts of this abuse and knowing that images of my abuse are being viewed by offenders around the world. For so long, we have suffered in silence. We never knew that there was any hope for getting the images of our abuse taken down from the internet. We always thought it was another thing that we could not control. Now that we know that there are actually ways to do it, we want it all shut down. We don’t want any more children to have to deal with what we deal with if that can be fixed.

The unwanted film festival