From victim to counsellor

When in 1997 Vicki Bernadet founded FADA, an organisation that provides support to adults that were sexually abused during their childhood, she knew what she was dealing with. From the age of about 9 she had been abused by a close member of her family till she was 17 when she got a boyfriend and left home; only then did the abuse stop. During all those years she had been wishing that a ‘fada’ (Catalan for ‘fairy’) would come and carry her away to a safe place.

It took her nearly twenty years before she could talk about it; at that time she lived separated from her husband and was raising a daughter herself. For some years she had been writing poems in which she was able to pour out her heart. One day her niece discovered them and was touched by the pain they conveyed. Little by little Vicki could relieve her mind telling her niece what had been done to her. From that moment on it was as if a burden had been lifted and she felt that she could act more freely. Continue reading “From victim to counsellor”

‘Watermelon Juice’ in the Berlinale

During the Internationale Filmfestspiele in Berlin photographer and film maker Irene Moray (Barcelona, 1992) has shown her second short film Suc de síndria (Watermelon Juice) taking part in its Shorts Competition. At the end of the festival the jury granted it a nomination for the European Film Awards 2019 which will be held on December 7 in the  German’s capital.

The film is an optimistic story about survival after sexual abuse, a problem that in Irene’s opinion is ‘scandalously common’ and not discussed enough. ‘These wounds are often represented as a trauma, but there are no models available that talk of healing’,  the director complains. Therefore she decided to make a film full of hope in which the main character rises above this impactful event through love.

In this film, produced by Distinto Films, Irene Moray tells the story of Bàrbara (Elena Martín) and Pol (Max Grosse) who meet during their holidays. In the middle of nature (like the reservoir of Baells, Berguedà) and surrounded by their friends, they find a quiet place in which they can savour their intimacy. With his help Bàrbara slowly cures old wounds inflicted during a period of sexual abuse. In this way she regains confidence and once more learns to enjoy her sexuality.

foto-3455601_1_630x630Irene explains that usually ‘we do not have models or references that talk of healing, but loving yourself, an emotional gesture, compassion, respect, all these things will enable you to survive. And if the other person reciprocates this feeling, he or she can stand by you in the proces’.


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