The Need For Child Abuse Education

Supporting responsible research and information on child abuse and sharing that information with the public, is how we can help protect victims from being taken advantage by money-hungry members of the media. Controversial film director Andrew Jarecki, is just one example.  For the production of his film “Capturing the Friedmans,” Andrew Jarecki used several tactics to create an ambiguity in his film and to gain media attention, at the expensive of the victims.  Distorted interviews and withholding pertinent information from officials, are just a few of the offenses committed by Andrew Jarecki. Darkness to Light is a nonprofit with the mission of reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse through public awareness and education.

Darkness to Light

 In a recent blog post, Darkness to Light addresses the question:”Do you think the government should mandate preventative education for K-8?”

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen much more governmental involvement and interest in child sexual abuse legislation. This is certainly one avenue to prevention and early intervention, and lately there has been some success with initiatives for prevention programs developed for children. Mandates should also include adult-focused prevention, especially in the field of education. Child sexual abuse prevention is primarily an adult responsibility. There is no doubt that children need to understand concepts like physical boundaries, appropriate touch, and reporting uncomfortable situations or actual abuse to a trusted adult. But no matter how much education children receive, they cannot always fend off unwanted advances or overcome threats and manipulation – things at which abusers excel. Adults are uniquely positioned to protect kids by creating environments that are as safe as possible. We should equip kids with the knowledge to understand abuse and to protect themselves, and then we should do everything in our power to ensure they never have to use this knowledge. Ideal mandates would take this into account and focus on prevention and response education for youth workers. Mandated reporting is not enough – there must be a strong element of prevention included. We mention educators, specifically. This is because educators identify 52% of all identified child abuse cases, more than any other profession including child protective services agencies and the police. Teachers may be the single best protection network children have, and yet two-thirds of them have not received training in how to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse. All of these options are part of a comprehensive system to prevent child sexual abuse. Ideally, every government, community, and parent would recognize the importance of protecting children from sexual abuse. Cultural change requires a team effort.”

Learn more about the real story behind Andrew Jarecki and the intentions of his film by visiting the Andrew Jarecki Lies Facebook page.


Deconstructing The Ambiguity Created By Andrew Jarecki’s Film

The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence is committed to protecting children and supporting responsible research and information on child abuse.  An analysis of the documentary “Capturing The Friedmans” conducted by The Leadership Council, reveals the tactics used by film director Andrew Jarecki, in order to create ambiguity in his film.
In his documentary, Andrew Jarecki is able to manipulate his audience with the tactics he used during production and editing process of the film.  The Leadership Council stated:

“Jarecki’s documentary creatively interweaves recent interviews with home movies shot by the older Friedman brother as the events were unfolding. The effect is a complex story where truth appears ever elusive. Many viewers leave the theater believing that they have seen an objective documentary presented by a director who entrusted audiences to draw their own conclusions on Arnold Friedman’s and Jesse Friedman’s guilt. A careful review of the original evidence, however, shows that the case against the Friedmans was much stronger than the film revealed.”

Jarecki accomplished this through omitting reference to some of the most damning evidence and by promoting common myths about child sexual abuse.  Andrew Jarecki’s work promotes social acceptance of those myths by silencing victims which shows disregard the pain and suffering faced by the victims and victims families.

The Leadership Council

The Leadership Council On Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence

It is important to educate the public on the issues of these crimes against children.  Additionally, it is important ensure the public has access to accurate information, not myths, regarding child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence.  The Andrew Jarecki Lies Facebook Page works to provide accurate information regarding the truth about Andrew Jarecki and exposing his controversial tactics.

For additional research, visit The Leadership Council website.

Director Andrew Jarecki Misses the Facts in Documentary

When it comes to documentary films, it can be difficult for viewers to tell where ethical research leaves off and self-interest steps in. Cineaste Magazine provides a detailed analysis of Capturing the Friedmans, the controversial film directed by Andrew Jarecki and the challenges of theatrical documentaries.

“How we see them [the Friedmans] is a product of Andrew Jarecki’s and editor Richard Hankin’s and composer Andrea Morricone’s pointed esthetic choices. Nor is this, I would contend, simply a bullshit countertruism. Jarecki, like Michael Moore and Steve James and a dozen other ‘cutting-edge’ documentary practitioners, traffics in grossly manipulative dramatic structures and effects of a kind usually associated with classical Hollywood…”

“So what is it, exactly, that Jarecki does to pump the dramatic quotient, hence raise the emotional stakes for his audience?” asks Paul Arthur, author of the Cineaste Magazine feature article. Andrew Jarecki raises the emotional stakes for his film by using certain methods including film editing, interview mixing, and even music:

  • Film editing- Footage found by Jarecki would be snipped into small segments. According to Arthur, the same camera angles, lighting, clothing of the interviewees throughout the film, point to and exhaustive editing and mixing. Additionally, unusual filters and altered footage speed create an unnerving sense for viewers.
  • Interview mixing – Arthur notes Andrew Jarecki chops up interviews and into bite-sized pieces, based on the camera angle, lighting, clothing of the individual being interviewed. Virtually all of the individuals who appear in the film were recorded in one session, yet Jarecki’s film took three years to produce. Therefore the individual pieces would be inserted at contradictory times and dialog throughout.
  • Music- Andrew Jarecki manipulates viewer’s emotional response by choosing particular music compositions in the film. “Emotional responses are pushed,” says Arthur. “Devices such as music played under the (silent) early home movies, and minor cues are give off by claustrophobic compositions…”

A lack of a relevant theme can be seen in Andrew Jarecki’s film. There is a strong emphasis on material that has nothing to do with recorded chronology, or relevance to the legal charges. Nevertheless Jarecki’s fast-paced assertions are undoubtedly exciting for viewers. Andrew Jarecki’s YouTube video highlights the reasons why his film faces a great deal of scrutiny.


“Calling the collection of putative facts and subject memories rehears by Jarecki a can of worms would be an understatement. It is more like a worm farm, and almost no one emerges from the cinematic argument without a slimy and slightly disgusting appearance. None of the people involved in this mess ‘tell their own story’, as in the utterly bankrupt documentary rubric; they engender neither trust nor skepticism, sympathy nor revulsion on their own.”

Read Paul Arthur’s full article, on the Cineaste Magazine website.