A Documentary Film based on the Memoir by Jennifer Storm
by Sylvia Caminer, Tracy Schott, and Jennifer Storm
Shining a light on dark secrets reveals the path to recovery.
A 12-year old girl is raped during an alcohol-induced blackout, beginning a ten-year journey into darkness. Jennifer Storm’s story teaches us important lessons about the role of trauma in addiction and illuminates a new pathway to recovery.
“Our secrets keep us sick.”
Those words changed everything for Jennifer Storm. With her wrists still stinted and bandaged from a brutal and nearly fatal suicide attempt, Jennifer was just days into rehab. Jen realized that her silence fed her shame, and that her shame kept her bound to her addiction. And she wasn’t alone.
Based on her highly acclaimed autobiography, Blackout Girl is the story of Jennifer Storm’s descent into addiction and despair after being raped, and her subsequent triumph over darkness as she moved past her trauma to become the leading voice for victims in Pennsylvania.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is commonly associated with veterans who have experienced trauma during active duty. Rape victims, however, have been shown to have higher rates of PTSD, with sustained symptoms of anxiety and depression triggered by everyday life. Studies which examine Adverse Childhood Experiences have found that up to 90% of women with addiction issues report a history of sexual abuse or severe violence. Statistics of sexual violence in the United States tell a grim story:
• 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will experience sexual violence* before the age of 18
• About 35% of women who were raped as minors also were raped as adults, compared to 14% of women without an early rape history.
• 28% of male rape victims were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger
• 86% of women in prison were victims of sexual violence
Unfortunately, the prevalent treatment modalities in addiction do not directly deal with trauma. We know that healing is possible, however Jennifer’s one time stay in rehab is unusual. Only about %20 of addicts/alcoholics stay sober after treatment. Jen got “lucky”. She found a therapist and dealt with her trauma early in her treatment.
Addiction treatment for trauma needs to be institutionalized – not left to luck.
Filming starts on June 30th, 2018 in various locations across the Lehigh Valley Area.