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Once in a while, you meet a human being who just kinda exudes magic. Sasha is one of those people.

I don't know that I would have survived what he did — that is, sexual abuse by relatives over several years, beginning at age 4.

This is Sasha now, and at age 4.



Image by Sasha Joseph Neulinger/TEDx.

After throwing himself from his mother's car at age 8, he got some help to begin processing what had happened to him.

Sasha bravely made his sexual abuse history public.

Over a decade later, after the trials were over and he finished film school, he began a Kickstarter to fund the making of a movie about his life, " Rewind to Fast-Forward." You see, his father, a filmmaker himself, captured a lot of their family life on film, so Sasha got to watch himself as a wee child, then at ages 4, 5, 6, and even into his teens when he had to testify against the uncles and cousin who abused him.

Sasha's family videos show times when abusive family members were with him. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

This film is his chance to tell his story, connect with other survivors, and open a dialogue with the world about child sexual abuse.

Sasha's film shows his struggle with a difficult past. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

His Kickstarter raised nearly $200,000 in just a few weeks, received millions of views, and reached thousands of people who'd had similar experiences. Many of them sent him personal messages with their own stories of survival, some telling that story for the first time in their lives. There is great power in the ability to start conversations about a subject that most people would rather hide under a rug, and those conversations can turn into healing, justice, and positive change in the world. The film is in post-production. See the attributions below to find out more.

The real numbers behind sexual abuse? More than you think.

Think of 500 people in a room you've been in recently. A conference, a concert, a church.

Statistically, Sasha points out, 1 out of every 3 girls and 1 out of every 5 boys have been sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. (Note from our fact checkers: Some organizations like the U.S. Dept. of Justice put this at 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys, but either way — it's totally unacceptable).

I've been aware of that for several years now, though the reality of it is so much more than a statistic. It still shocks me.


Sasha's film shows how he coped with this trauma when he was a child. Image by "Rewind to Fast-Forward."

It's one of the biggest sources of trauma for children, and it happens far too frequently in the world.

Watch Sasha talk about his journey and about finding that 4-year-old child inside himself, holding his hand through the darkness, reminding him that he is deeply loved.

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