IVINS — Think to yourself for a moment. Who is your most trusted friend or family member and – as horrifying as a thought ever could be – is there any chance they could be sexually assaulting one of your children?
With over 800,000 reported cases of child sex abuse in the United States in 2018 and possibly many more going unreported, survivor and motivational speaker Jan Broberg told St. George News that chances are “somebody that you know, that you love, that you trust is being abused by someone that you know, love and trust.”
Broberg, who is also an actress and the executive director at the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, has been the center of worldwide attention recently as people have been scratching their heads and obsessing over a popular documentary about her life that is so baffling, outrageous and appalling, it has to be watched to be believed.
Originally screened at the 2017 DOCUTAH film festival at Dixie State University as “Forever B” to critical acclaim, “Abducted In Plain Sight,” which was directed by Skye Borgman, is now trending in the top 10 on Netflix. It is so strange, a person would swear it was a work of Hollywood fiction, not the haunting and completely true details of being abducted at ages 12 and 14. And stranger still, the kidnapping was by someone so close to her family, at first her parents did not know even know what was happening.
Broberg said she hopes the recent attention on her life will “save a lot of little lives from harm and help everybody else heal.”
She said people often ask how her family survived it because when they see the whole story they’re like “holy crap.”
“In my opinion it’s pretty miraculous,” Broberg said. “I have the parents and family that survived this. They stayed together. I survived and then we were able to go on and thrive.
“My family ate dinner together every night. We talked and our parents listened. I always felt like my parents listened and communicated.”
Broberg said she always had the feeling she was supposed to share her triumph. Not only because it has entertainment value but because it has the potential to get people talking about a problem she has seen little improvement in the four decades since her abduction.
The problem is so common that half of all girls and one out of every five boys have been victimized by someone close to them. Broberg is on a mission to do everything she can to help.
“I just want millions of conversations to be started – millions of conversations that never would have happened,” Broberg said. “I want that conversation to be started because it’s so icky. It’s so awful. I’m telling you that right now you know somebody who is being abused by someone you know and you just don’t know it yet.”
For Broberg and other victims, there was never a sign on the person’s head or easily identifiable red flags that could warn someone of their nefarious intentions. She said the best thing we can do is to be in the moment – to be present and aware, especially in today’s digital society with all our kids on their phones and consumed with social media.
She said she believes that by getting the conversation started now, maybe it will help people to pick up on signs of trouble that may have been in front of them the whole time. Her father died in November and although he had her full and undying love, she said she thinks he was never able to forgive himself for the things that happened to his daughter.
“It could be happening right now and you may not even know about it,” she said, with hope of helping others speak out and make a stand when they know something is wrong.
“Maybe you’ll be willing to do that after seeing my story. That’s the hope.”
Broberg will also be speaking at the Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting on Feb. 21.
- What: Center for the Arts at Kayenta presents, “Abducted in Plain Sight.”
- When: Feb. 22, 7-9 p.m., with a question-and-answer session following the film.
- Where: Center for the Arts at Kayenta, 881 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins.
- Cost: $15. Tickets can be purchased online here.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.