Child sexual abuse is a silent epidemic that creates havoc for all. We work to expose, prevent and stop it, and assist the healing process.
In 2008, a young Scottish playwright, looking for assistance, happened upon the Stop the Silence Web site, and proceeded thereafter to describe in an e-mail how the programming of Stop the Silence had inspired him to write a play. As it turned out, that young playwright, Matthew McVarish, is a survivor of child sexual abuse (CSA) and his play, To Kill a Kelpie, about two grown brothers who reunite following the death of their Uncle, is a stylized version of the abuse under which he suffered and its aftermath. The play recounts the gruesome tales told by an uncle about a child-devouring monster (The Kelpie), which, the boys (now men) realize, were used to create a climate of fear to ensure their silence and cooperation during years of sexual abuse. The boys have never discussed the events, or how it still affects them?until "now." In this unconventional family drama, we meet two men talking to the children they were. They face one another like a mirror to open painful boxes of sexual confusion, self doubt and shame, endeavoring honestly to end the silence and open their minds enough to consider what it would take 'to kill a Kelpie'. Stop the Silence has now brought (and will continue to bring) this play to a number of venues in the U.S. and, in each venue, has definitively shown (through after-show focus group-like discussion and formal evaluation, the power of art in both prevention and healing of CSA (see www.ToKillAKelpie.com).