I had the pleasure of speaking with David Pisarra from the Santa Monica Daily Press about the subject of human trafficking and the sexual abuse of men and boys. David has written a great article and I include some highlights here with a link to his entire piece. We talked about what it was like shooting the documentary and what challenges do I face seeing it time and time again.

Stopping Traffic – Painful But Important To See

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It’s a pet concern of mine because of the damage that was done to me by the violence that occurred in my own household. The scars are deep and wide.

Violence and trauma affect people differently, but the one thing we do know is that there is almost always long-term damage. I’ve often said that the physical wounds heal much quicker and more completely than the emotional or psychological wounds we suffer. Partly that is due to the psyche’s own self-preservation defense system. When a trauma happens to a child who is not equipped to handle it, the brain will often wall it off. Much like the walls that are used to dam up a river though, there is a constant pressure, a psychic drain on the individual to maintain their equilibrium

Eventually, that psychic drain becomes too much, and the pain and the memories can either start to leak out, as they did in my case. I self-medicated for years, I probably still do with food, as the memories and hurts break through my mental defenses. In other cases, they come flooding back and are overwhelming to the individual. “I don’t know what triggered my memories. Could have been the daffodils as I was walking along. I always loved daffies as a child.” Said Dr. John A. King when I spoke to him.

What happened to Dr. King was sexual abuse as a child by his parents in a most shocking and appalling manner. He retells his story in the movie Stopping Traffic which is currently playing at the Laemmle on Second Street. I saw it this past Saturday and was shocked and disgusted with the reality it paints of how many children are trafficked sexually across the planet. Stopping Traffic is a documentary that peels the veneer back on child abuse and human slavery as it exists today.

I asked Dr. King what his experience was in watching the movie at the premiere, “It’s tough watching it. I didn’t remember lots of the interview. But the positive response from the audience has made it worthwhile.” Seeing this movie is not a fun experience. King is a burly Australian man who rather epitomizes strong masculinity, but when I saw him shed tears, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it’s all going to be alright. “It’s a raw and honest moment in my life. In many ways, it’s made me really comfortable with being a man today. I’m comfortable in my masculinity in new ways” King said.