Touch for the 21st Century-the Film
Illusion broke the silence surrounding sexual abuse of children in 1978 with the award-winning Touch. It pioneered awareness and understanding of tough social issues through accessible language and images and offered ways for children and adults to address what was—and still is—a confusing and terrifying societal challenge. Now Illusion is remaking Touch—for the 21st Century. It is time for us to update Touch for a new generation of children, young adults, and the professionals who work with them.
In 1977, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office (HCAO) partnered with the Illusion Theater to find a way to talk to children about sexual abuse, train staff and prepare child victims for court. Illusion agreed to work with the HCA Office to be the "media" for this endeavor. The resulting piece TOUCH, took the fear, the medical, and legal jargon out of this difficult issue. TOUCH created a language children can use to describe different kinds of touch; it encourages children to ask for help, not to keep secrets (one of the ways predators are able to continue their abuse is by threatening children "to keep our little secret" ) and to give the child victims the understanding that being a victim of child sexual abuse is not their fault.
This play and the subsequent film released in 1983 with Bionic Woman star Lindsay Wagoner has been distributed throughout the world.
TOUCH revolutionized how our culture talks about, approaches and works at keeping children safe. This play has been performed in every state of the country and at several international conferences. It transformed the way sexual abuse, molestation, incest and sexual predators are talked about around this country and around the world.
We didn't know then, but we do know now:
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.
Children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the ages of 7 and 13.
The average age of a child being trafficked is between the age of 11 and 14.
Alarmed by the hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse seen and prosecuted by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, together, the HCAO and Illusion chose to update the 1983 film version of TOUCH to provide awareness about the current threats to today's children.
Hennepin County Attorney's Office has shared scenarios that come from current court cases that illuminate how today's predators are using sexting, sex impersonation, trolling , cat -fishing and child sex trafficking to find and groom their victims.All of these scenes are in the updated film TOUCH.
We invite you to join our growing circle of friends with a gift to support this important film.
Your support at the $100, $250, or other level will make a difference in addressing this important issue today and for future generations. For your contribution, we will include you in the list of community producers and invite you to the premiere of the film.