1980's and 1990's era media depicting abuse

JoeRobot

Registrant
Hi survivors,
Do you remember any particular tv shows or movies/media from the 1980s forward that depicts an abuse story? During the 1980s when I was going through my abuse, I remember seeing a "Very Special Episode" of Different Strokes where the 2 boys were abused by a bicycle shop owner. He showed them porn mags, videos and gave 1 of them pills. I have a female survivor friend who I speak with often and she remembers seeing a video in school. It was her moment of "oh my gosh, this video is about me, how did the teacher know to show this to me?" It hit her in her core. I shared the same sentiment.
Which shows do you recall?
 
interesting that you mention it sir. There is a particular movie that seems to come up for us over and over. Sling Blade. We suspect that maybe someone who doesn't have a similar past may not understand it for what it is. The movie is a slow burn and only at the very end does it subtly reveal what the protagonist has been through to make him the way he is. We usually avoid such things, but this one caught us off guard. don't know when it was made though.

be well sir
 

JethroTull

Registrant
For me it is a film called Kes, based on a book called A Kestrel for a Naive, the film came out in 1960, but at the age of 12 in 1980, this film sung to me from Billy Casper’s home life, relationship with is brother,er the PE teacher was spot on. I still can not do sports or go to the gym without that man appearing and humiliating me. I feel sick now just writing this.
 

Youngtrumpet

Registrant
Mine was in the 70’s. It was an episode of the Streets of San Francisco. I don’t remember much, I think I dissociated through it until the end. That scene is still so vivid in my mind even today. The cops found the two boys in the morning and only one was still alive. It was too close to reality for me to ever forget it.
 
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JoeRobot

Registrant
One of my favorite movies is Antwone Fisher. I saw the film first then read the book. His story of counseling and healing is inspirational. The book has more details that are graphic. It was a tough read.
 

JoeRobot

Registrant
interesting that you mention it sir. There is a particular movie that seems to come up for us over and over. Sling Blade. We suspect that maybe someone who doesn't have a similar past may not understand it for what it is. The movie is a slow burn and only at the very end does it subtly reveal what the protagonist has been through to make him the way he is. We usually avoid such things, but this one caught us off guard. don't know when it was made though.

be well sir
I just watched the trailer. interesting movie. I'll check it out. Thanks
 

JayBro

Registrant
There was an episode of the sci-fi show Star Trek: Voyager (which is a television series from the 1990's) which seems to have dealt with the topic of child abuse imagery/child porn but via metaphor. In it, the show's characters are on a telepathic planet which sensors people's thoughts so as to eliminate all aggression and create a peaceful, crime-free society. But, a telepathic main character discovers that there is an underground network of people in on this planet who crave violent thoughts, memories, and images, and sell and exchange these images and memories with one another to satisfy their urges. Whilst investigating, this character meets one of the underground community's memories and finds out that in order to gain access to this network, he needs to provide new, "fresh" images that the others haven't seen before.

I couldn't find any commentary on imdb or wikipedia which explains the metaphoric meaning of the episode (which many Star Trek episodes seem to have), but to me it seemed like a thin metaphor to describe online child abuse imagery websites, like on the dark net or nowadays with encrypted social media and messaging apps. Needless to say, it was a major trigger for me as I wasn't expecting this and it felt too "real" for me. The characters' sense of relief or pleasure from viewing the violent images looked to me like people seeking sexual gratification, much like an abuser/someone with a paraphilia would in, say, a cop / investigative crime show.

I just did a google search: it is episode 10 of season 4, title "Random Thoughts". Reading about it, it seems like the writers were mainly focusing on topics of violence in media and the trade of illicit drugs. But, perhaps with my experiences, I had an another interpretation.
 

JoeRobot

Registrant
There was an episode of the sci-fi show Star Trek: Voyager (which is a television series from the 1990's) which seems to have dealt with the topic of child abuse imagery/child porn but via metaphor. In it, the show's characters are on a telepathic planet which sensors people's thoughts so as to eliminate all aggression and create a peaceful, crime-free society. But, a telepathic main character discovers that there is an underground network of people in on this planet who crave violent thoughts, memories, and images, and sell and exchange these images and memories with one another to satisfy their urges. Whilst investigating, this character meets one of the underground community's memories and finds out that in order to gain access to this network, he needs to provide new, "fresh" images that the others haven't seen before.

I couldn't find any commentary on imdb or wikipedia which explains the metaphoric meaning of the episode (which many Star Trek episodes seem to have), but to me it seemed like a thin metaphor to describe online child abuse imagery websites, like on the dark net or nowadays with encrypted social media and messaging apps. Needless to say, it was a major trigger for me as I wasn't expecting this and it felt too "real" for me. The characters' sense of relief or pleasure from viewing the violent images looked to me like people seeking sexual gratification, much like an abuser/someone with a paraphilia would in, say, a cop / investigative crime show.

I just did a google search: it is episode 10 of season 4, title "Random Thoughts". Reading about it, it seems like the writers were mainly focusing on topics of violence in media and the trade of illicit drugs. But, perhaps with my experiences, I had an another interpretation.
I was a big Voyager fan. I'll have to go back to watch that episode.
 

JayBro

Registrant
I was a big Voyager fan. I'll have to go back to watch that episode.

Please do! I am curious what you think or take out of it. Maybe you will also see what I saw?
At the height of my c-PTSD I loved watching Star Trek as a way to distract myself and escape. At the time, I was really into Enterprise and Voyager :)
The first season of Discovery interestingly (for us) has a continual theme of male sexual abuse. That was something I have rarely seen discussed and interpreted seriously in media, yet alone in Star Trek or by science fiction.
 

JoeRobot

Registrant
Please do! I am curious what you think or take out of it. Maybe you will also see what I saw?
At the height of my c-PTSD I loved watching Star Trek as a way to distract myself and escape. At the time, I was really into Enterprise and Voyager :)
The first season of Discovery interestingly (for us) has a continual theme of male sexual abuse. That was something I have rarely seen discussed and interpreted seriously in media, yet alone in Star Trek or by science fiction.
It's weird, if i watch movies or shows I really liked as a kid- Robotech, Star Wars, The Black Hole (1979 Disney, not a great movie. but I loved it) I alm almost brought to tears of joy. I get this weird feeling in my gut being overwhelmed by the images and sounds music dialogue etc. It's like the only thing I had that made me happy outside of leaving my house.
 

JoeRobot

Registrant
Hi Joe, I can understand those feelings of nostalgia for the good things. For me, those movies, tv shows, books...I “think” they represent my safety zone. I read (past tense) a lot of books. Horror and sci-if mostly. That was my escape in those days. In some ways I’ve trapped myself in those times, if that makes any sense. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. There’s a little comfort in knowing I’m not alone there.
Dave
Thanks Dave, I am not feeling great today. I had a great day with my God Brother yesterday. We met up and did some astronomy. like when we were kids. Today was tough getting back into the daily routine. So I am sitting quietly tonight watching some video (Marvel MCU, stuff from childhood) to distract me so i can make it to tomorrow.
 

Seagull

Registrant
Some of the images that affected me the most were scenes from prison movies. It wasn't just the violence of the scenes. They portrayed a sort of acceptance that this is just what happens to those not strong enough to fight it. That they somehow deserved it.
Sometimes the scenes were played as a joke, of the "drop the soap" variety. But sometimes it was brutal. And the message was always that the victim was weak This was the case in The Shawshank Redemption, when Red says he wished he could say that Andy was strong enough.
The scene that haunted me the most was from a movie called Brubaker. In a mess hall scene, a young prisoner is literally dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the line by a large predator. He is taken out of the scene, so we are left to imagine what happened. But nobody, prisoner or guard, so much as looks up. It was just accepted as the way things are.
And for me, that just re-enforced the idea that what happened to me when I was young only did because I was too weak to stop it.
 
Hey JR

One movie stands out for me. The movie's name is Jet Boy. I think it was made in 2001. The movie seems to take place in the 1970s. The good guy has a '69 Camaro.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004H1UAD...eQBENPpzjJuGb4MO74eev0dfDcJHmkvx83J-HHm170KD8
https://theskykid.com/interview-with-the-filmmaker-dave-schultz/

The movie is basically about a 13(?) year old boy who is struggling with a mother who sells him to support her Heroin addiction and after she OD’s and dies on what he just bought for her he runs away trying to find love and a family.

In the opening scene, the boy is laying in bed after a night with a john contemplating what’s going on in his life. After a hug from the john, he leaves the motel, pisses on the john's car (a little give-back), and goes to school in the morning but is too bruised up and doesn’t fit in well with normal kids.

A scene that connected with me is when the kid is in a motel room with the good guy in the movie who he likes and would like him to like him. He tries to seduce the guy but is brushed off rather harshly.

The movie has a tear-jerker ending (for me) where everyone gets a family and lives happily ever after.

The movie reminded me of how much I wanted a family:
  • that didn’t beat me and take my clothes.
  • wouldn’t leave me with neighbors that would sexually abuse me as far back as when I was 4.
  • wouldn’t be so neglectful that at 9-1/2 I would be sold by my athletic coach for the next 14 years.
  • so I wouldn’t have tried seducing the father of a good friend and a family I wanted to be part of.
The movie reminds me that I had left home at 12 and spent the next 12 years on the streets of NYC’s west village in the ’60s and early ‘70s. (I did a stint in the USAF from ’69-’71.)

What made me smile were the two boys in the film are playing with slot cars. That company was only a few miles from where my foster parents lived. My friend (who was being sold by his priest) and I would go there and rummage through their garbage containers for stuff. Every once in a while the maintenance man would slip us a car or some track or some other prize. Same boxes and same slot cars as in the movies.

What the movie doesn’t show is the horrible every lasting damage done to children that are abused.
 

pedropedro

Registrant
As a survivor of female abuse, one thing that seamed "hot" to me at the time but now quite cringeworthy is the whole Stiffler's Mom situation in the American Pie movies. I've heard about how she was just a sex object for horny teenagers, but with my experience I see it quite differently: She wasn't a victim, she was the perp.
 
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