Reseda, California, August 2, 2012 - The Jerry Sandusky story is just the tip of the iceberg. The story is being played out throughout the country with devastating results for young men. The trial of Jerry Sandusky is over, with Sandusky behind bars. The statue of Joe Paterno has been removed from the Penn State campus, and flowers are now in place. However, the scars remain for the victims.
Unfortunately, the Sandusky story is being played out throughout the country, with equally devastating results by tainted role models of both genders, with a host of Joe Paterno-like figureheads who willfully ignore the problem until it’s too late.
Six months before the Penn State scandal broke, writer Jamison Leigh penned a screenplay called Strong Men, in which a town is rocked by a sexual abuse scandal on the town’s high school wrestling team. The morning the scandal broke, Leigh was awakened to the news of the scandal by a fellow writer. “I remember the text message I received from my friend,” he said. “The last two words of his message were: It’s time.”
Leigh decided to form a production company to put his film into production as soon as possible, not to financially capitalize on a sordid tragedy, but powered by the knowledge that one out of every five young men will have been sexually abused by the age of 17.
“Imagine that out of every one hundred men you know, as many as twenty could have been abused. It’s sobering and mind-boggling.”
Leigh has assembled a production team and is currently engaged in crowdfunding through indiegogo.com to create a short film called The Life of Riley, dealing with an Olympic wrestler who is in for the fight of his life, struggling with the memories of his own abuse. The purpose of the film is to create awareness of male sexual abuse, and to start a national dialogue about this growing epidemic. “It’s a tough sell,” Leigh concedes, “but our children are worth it. We can no longer be a nation of Joe Paternos.”
The film the Life of Riley is a necessary film that needs major support; it is scheduled to go before the cameras the last week of August. The race is on to fully fund the film in time, and any donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated.
"Victims need a voice," states Leigh. "The media is all too quick to put a face on a horrific act such as the Penn State Scandal and the recent Colorado movie theater shootings, and gives too much face time to the perpetrator, instead of the victims, who are treated as an unfortunate footnote. Victims are the forgotten people, and it's downright tragic."
Those interested in helping this film project make it across the finish line are urged to visit indiegogo.com/