Woman Tells Story of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Film
Owner and entrepreneur Gina Garcia is readying her latest models of electric bicycles at her bike shop, Trikaroo, in Orlando while also promoting her first independent film. Her film, Untold, is based on her own true life story, when she was abducted and raped at the Orlando Fashion Square Mall when she was eight years old in 1981.
Abduction and Abuse
At eight years old, Ms. Garcia had a knife put to her throat, was taken from the mall, and sexually brutalized. In the movie, police and medical staff recount how they advised Ms. Garcia’s family not to tell her that she had been raped at the time of the incident. An Army veteran, Ms. Garcia did not remember what had happened to her until she was an adult.
Her recollection of the sexual abuse was triggered by a burglary at the bicycle store. “It was jarring,” she said. “And I started recalling everything — the smells, the taste of sweat, the triggers, and I started dreaming about it, and it dictated every part of my life for a distinct period of time.” After the burglary, Ms. Garcia was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. The event sparked her difficult and painful search for the truth about what happened to her all of those years ago.
About the Film
The Florida native gives a lot of personal insight into her personal struggles of what happened to her as a child. From suicidal thoughts, PTSD episodes, and therapy sessions, this film is incredibly personal as well as graphic. However, Ms. Garcia feels very strongly about sharing her experiences with others through the film. She feels that if she can give herself a voice through Untold, it may help other victims, as well.
“I need to have a voice,” she says. “So I’ll step out of my comfort zone, so other people can step out of theirs and start talking.” Ms. Garcia’s hope is that, one day soon, this film will help fellow survivors of childhood sexual abuse. “You grow up feeling like you are the dirty person, and the reality is, it’s them, not you,” she said. “And I think people need to realize that it’s okay to talk about it, and the more they talk about it, it’s a healing process.”
The independent film was well received at its initial premiere over Labor Day weekend at the Central Florida Film Festival in Ocoee. It won multiple awards, and Ms. Garcia plans on taking the movie to other festivals around the country. Her next stop is an October premiere in Los Angeles, and her hope is to find a distributor that may put her film in theaters.
Contact a Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
Like Ms. Garcia, it takes some victims of childhood sexual abuse years to remember and come to terms with what happened to them as children. If you or someone that you know was a victim of sexual abuse in the West Palm or greater Florida area, let the experienced attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates, P.A. help because you may still have a valid claim against your attacker. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.