“Spotlight” Review – It Takes A Village To Abuse A Child

“Spotlight” Review – It Takes A Village To Abuse A Child November 23, 2015

spotlightby Suzanne Titkemeyer

Last night I had an opportunity to see an extraordinary film, one that I’m sure would deeply resonate with everyone that is a regular reader of NLQ. The film is “Spotlight” and it’s playing right now in theaters across the country after a wide screen release on Friday, November 20th.

“Spotlight” deals with the heavy topic of the first really big exposure of priests abusing children in the Catholic church. It chronicles the many-months long journey of the journalists assigned to the Spotlight investigative journalism unit at the Boston Globe newspaper back in 2001 and 2002. The team is asked by their new editor, fresh from Miami, Marty Baron played by Liev Schreiber, to do some digging into a case involving one priest in the Boston area accused of sexually molesting children. But what they find as they start investigating is not simply one priest that has abused children, they find evidence of wide-spread abuse of children, covered up by not only the local bishop but the upper echelons of the Catholic church. It wasn’t just the church either, Boston law enforcement, the courts, the district attorney’s office, among others and even the Boston Globe had been complicit in burying the abuse and silencing the victims.

By the time Spotlight’s investigation ran it’s first story on the abuse they’d identified nearly 90 priests just in the Boston area alone that had been accused of molesting children and moved around from parish to parish to keep preying on the most innocent. The Boston Globe won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the widespread abuse that the church refused to acknowledge.

The film is well done, and it feels as if you are part of that news room, as every new lead is chased down, documents come to light and the henchmen of the church do everything in their power to make sure this story never comes to light. The reporters and the film handled the difficult subject matter in a very respectful and thoughtful way in an age where everything is usually sensationalized. The tagline of the film is ‘Break The Story – Break The Silence’, aptly fitting for the film and yes, for us here at No Longer Quivering too.

It’s not an easy watch for anyone that’s ever experienced spiritual abuse from the church leadership, or anyone that was physically or sexually abused as a child.  One of the hardest to watch films for me in a long time. It was extremely triggering even if none of the abuse I suffered came at the hands of the Catholic church. There are so many parallels between what the film exposes and what so many here have suffered at the hands of their churches and pastors.

I cried more than once during the film, starting when this quote was uttered by one of the victims in the film.

They say it’s just physical abuse but it’s more than that, this was spiritual abuse. You know why I went along with everything? Because priests, are supposed to be the good guys.

That’s it, the spiritual abuse, the real killer, the cause of so much pain inside for so many. It’s the thing that we fight against so much here. Recovery from the pain that rips your soul.

By the time the credits rolled with four screens filled with lists of places around the world where it has been revealed that this same thing happened as in Boston it was almost overwhelming. I cry for those broken around the world by this abuse that no one should ever have to suffer. A broken hurting world created by those that should have protected their lambs.

The movie’s website and end credits included a long list of websites and organizations for you to contact if you are being abused, or have been abused by clergy. Here’s their list of resources, some of which I do not have on our NLQ list to help resources. I’ll be adding the new ones in the coming week.  Please, if you’ve been abused or are currently being abused don’t shield your abuser in silence. Tell someone.

I leave you with this. A quote about children spoken by the attorney that represented so many of the Boston victims, Mitchell Garabendian.

It takes a village to raise them. It takes a village to abuse them. That’s the truth of it.


Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape


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