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Development   /  Alice Burgin


For 8 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, a new program turns into a journey of recovery, transformation and friendship


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Shannon Owen

  • PRODUCER Donna Lyon



In early 2020, seven women responded to a call-out to participate in an 8-week experimental recovery program. The program supports survivors of childhood sexual assault by addressing both the physical and emotional impacts of trauma through a unique combination of boxing and creative writing. What begins as an 8-week program soon becomes much more as these survivors build bonds with one another and with their coach that lead to transformations they could only have dreamed of.

Support this project

2.35% funded
  • $200,000.00

  • $4,700.00

  • May 2023

  • 12

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Jason Christou $100.00
Marjorie Powles $1,000.00
Di Carter $100.00
Lucy Knox $50.00
Anastasia Slipper $100.00
Julia Lambert $100.00
Greg Fitzgerald $50.00
Anonymous $50.00
Anita Ziemer $2,000.00
Andrew O'Keefe $100.00
Melissa Verdino $50.00
Carina Calzoni $1,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

It is estimated that in Australia, 8% of boys and 20% of girls will experience childhood sexual assault. These shocking numbers highlight the important need to raise awareness and provide new language for us to think about, talk about and respond to this issue. While the subject matter is uncomfortable, a new space has opened up in Australia that has allowed previously taboo issues to become a national conversation. It is within this landscape that LEFT WRITE HOOK can and must exist.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our impact vision is to put a stop to child sexual abuse in Australia and change the narrative about survivors by ensuring this conversation is survivor-led. Creating a compelling and powerful narrative and partnering with key non-profit stakeholders, universities and philanthropists, we will amplify the experience of adult survivors to empower them and reduce their shame.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Our documentary aims to:
● Position incest as a central part of the conversation about child sexual abuse.
● Change the narrative about survivors.
● Build the Left Write Hook recovery program as a sector leader.
● Attract funding to expand the program to offer it as a free service for survivors nationally.
● Create an open culture of community support for survivors Mental Health Sector.
● Produce a survivor authored resource toolkit to aid health experts & practitioners to respond effectively to reports of sexual abuse in someone’s history.
● Provide evidence-based research outcomes to inform the mental health practitioners about the efficacy of creative and body-based therapies for survivors.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

● Organisational partnerships with UoM, CASA and Blue Knot to develop, create and distribute a survivor authored resource toolkit to aid health experts & practitioners to respond effectively to reports of sexual abuse in someone’s history.
● Social media strategy such as “#break the silence” or “#eliminateshame”
● Multiplatform activity to link to book, excerpts of writings featured in the book and documentary
● Targeted stakeholder and community screenings to social workers, therapists, mental health and allied health experts with Q&A screenings with the team, including some of our participants.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

● The project developed in the research space at Melbourne University (UoM). UoM is a strong partner therefore with existing networks related to the themes in the documentary. Our impact campaign will see us working to bring in experts from across the University to inform our resource kit, the Q&A discussions and also host targeted screenings across disciplines.
● Blue Knot, National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma is also incredibly supportive of our project and have worked with other filmmakers who deal with topics of sexual abuse. Blue Knot will work with us to develop and promote a marketing campaign to tap into their networks.
● CASA is a partner to support and deepen the trauma-informed framework that forms the project and will also allow us to cross-promote the film.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We want our audiences to:
● Recognise the effects and symptoms of sexual trauma (as evidenced by our participants and affirmed by a website that supports and links those looking for more information).
● Seek recovery and support services for themselves or their loved ones.
● Break the silence and eliminate shame putting the focus back on the perpetrator not the victim.
● Host their own screenings to facilitate discussion and visibility.
● Show support for our campaign through social media (#breakthesilence / #eliminateshame).

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

● Measurement tool established with CASA and Blue Knot to establish data around who is referred to their services from our documentary
● Number of hosted screenings per state/territory
● Number of likes on social media and sharing of film
● Positive reviews across media outlets
● Number of clicks and click-throughs on the website
● Number of educational facilities/non-profit organisations using the resource kit.