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Invisible Scars

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Johnna is a woman, mother, wife, and friend who appears strong and confident.  In her documentary, Invisible Scars, she candidly reveals the life-long struggles she has faced from the events that have haunted her since childhood.
Johnna is a woman, mother, wife, and friend who appears strong and confident.
In her documentary, Invisible Scars, she candidly reveals the life-long struggles she has faced from the events that have haunted her since childhood.
I have spent most of my life running away from my past of child sexual abuse, both literally and figuratively. During those years, I could never understand why my life was chaotic, and how the simplest decisions were overwhelming for me.
As long as I can remember, I was in “survival mode”, trying to keep my head above water.  With a forced smile to the outside world, I attempted to push through the challenges I faced in life.  On the inside, however, I felt like I was dying, and on one occasion attempted to take my own life.
That attempt, like the events that have haunted my past, was kept a shameful secret from my children, and virtually all of my friends and relatives.
During my darkest period, I was asked to lunch by a woman who saw through me.  She was intelligent, successful, and led a very happy and healthy life.  Over our lunch, she told me about her own history of abuse and the importance of healing from trauma.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was not alone, and that my secret had finally been released.  I still don’t know how she knew about my past, but she must have recognized aspects of herself within me, and recognized my facade.
In sharing her story, she gave me the permission and the encouragement that I needed to embark on my own healing journey.  It wasn’t until I began the difficult work to address my past, that I could improve my present and build a promising future.
Vincent J. Felitti, MD, is co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, ongoing collaborative research between the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and the Centers for Disease Control. Vince helps Johnna understand her journey.
Vincent J. Felitti, MD, is co-Principal Investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, ongoing collaborative research between the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and the Centers for Disease Control. Vince helps Johnna understand her journey.
This film documents my continued path of discovery, and the tools and knowledge I have gathered along the way.  My goal is to assist other survivors of abuse to achieve the life they deserve, free from the debilitating effects of their traumatic experiences. Educating the public about child sexual abuse is also imperative if we are to prevent other children from enduring a life of suffering.
If we remain silent about the epidemic of child sexual abuse, we protect the perpetrators – NOT  our children.
“YOU have the ability to assist in this important cause.  Your donation, however small or large, will help create the catalyst for change.  For yourself, or for those known or unknown to you, help us to bring our message to those who are in need. Click the link to see the trailer”
                                                                          – Johnna Janis

Click here to watch the trailer for Invisible Scars

Invisible Scars is a feature documentary that explores hope, healing, and resilience through the eyes of one woman (Johnna Janis), who was sexually abused by her own father at a very young age. Through this journey Johnna is forced to face her past and learn to live in the present. In the documentary Johnna meets dedicated scholars and leading experts who discuss the topic of child sexual abuse. In addition Johnna comes face to face with other people who were also sexually abused by people they trusted. With the perspective of others, she comes to understand how her experiences have negatively impacted her self-image, her inter-personal relationships, and nearly all significant decisions in her life.
Invisible Scars is a feature documentary that explores hope, healing, and resilience through the eyes of one woman (Johnna Janis), who was sexually abused by her own father at a very young age. Through this journey Johnna is forced to face her past and learn to live in the present.
In the documentary Johnna meets dedicated scholars and leading experts who discuss the topic of child sexual abuse. In addition Johnna comes face to face with other people who were also sexually abused by people they trusted. With the perspective of others, she comes to understand how her experiences have negatively impacted her self-image, her inter-personal relationships, and nearly all significant decisions in her life.

 

Al Chesley, a 6-foot-3-inch former linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles, was sexually abused as a child and tells his story in the documentary.
Al Chesley, a 6-foot-3-inch former linebacker with the Philadelphia Eagles, was sexually abused as a child and tells his story in the documentary.

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