Sitting on a flowery couch, a 10-year-old girl recalls the first time her father raped her. She was three years old and tried to roll away, but there was little she could do when he pulled her towards him and took off her nightgown.
“I often wonder what would have happened if I had either cut, or at least moved that scene,” said the filmmaker who shot and edited Small Justice: Little Justice in America’s Court, a 2001 documentary that followed three parents through the U.S. family court system as they tried to protect their children from abuse.
A PBS executive had told Garland Waller that the opening scene was just too much and if she’d change it, the documentary might have a chance to air. “I wish I had been more flexible about changing the content,” said Waller, an assistant professor of communications at Boston University and a documentary film producer. “Because I refused to make that change, the conversation came to a dead stop. If the show had aired on PBS, would it have been the trigger for national change?” [Read Full Article]
This is the third in a series of articles for Daily Kos about the treatment of abused children in the U.S. family court system. M.C. Moewe is a former criminal justice and investigative reporter for several newspapers with a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Texas.