Jalea Jackson, originally from Rock Island, directed Things With Feathers, a short film about a young girl named Aaliyah that was sexually assaulted by a family member. The project debuted on the Louisiana Film Channel tonight.
Jackson, who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia said the depiction was meant to make people uncomfortable and start meaningful conversations.
“I like to make films that bring forth a discussion, that hit on topics that we don’t like to talk about,” Jackson said.
The project was originally released in 2017, but the LSU grad says the topic is still important.
“Especially dealing with child sexual abuse and sometimes how we don’t listen, and we don’t hear their voices. Or, sometimes they feel like they can’t share what’s happened to them,” she said.
Studies estimate that one in four girls and one in six boys experience sexual abuse by the time they are 18.
Sara Kessinger works as a Survivor Services Supervisor at Family Resources and said parents should not shy away from hard conversations.
“Talk early and talk often. So, never thinking that our children are too young to be talking about what it looks like to be safe with their bodies. We want to really open up that communication,” Kessinger said.
Jackson said she received positive responses from survivors of sexual abuse, which she said motivates her more than recognition.
“Those moments mean so much. That’s kind of why I made the film, not for it to be screened all over the world,” she said.
To stream Things With Feathers, click here.