TLC to air child sex abuse doc after “19 Kids” cancellation

U.S. net TLC will this month air the hour-long doc Breaking the Silence in response to the molestation scandal surrounding the net's cancelled series, 19 Kids and Counting. (Pictured: Erin Merryn, abuse prevention advocate)
August 14, 2015

U.S. net TLC has set a late-August air date for its hour-long doc, Breaking the Silence, focusing on the lifelong effects of child sexual abuse.

Produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions, the previously announced documentary comes a month after TLC officially cancelled its long-running series 19 Kids and Counting following allegations that star Josh Duggar had – while a minor himself – molested several underage girls, including two of his sisters.

The film is the first phase of a multi-platform campaign between TLC and abuse prevention organizations Darkness to Light and Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) aimed at raising awareness and educating the public about child sexual abuse.

The hour-long documentary will chronicle the personal experiences of survivors afflicted by sexual abuse, including two-time survivor and prevention advocate Erin Merryn (pictured), who is determined to end abuse with legislation that makes an age-appropriate curriculum on personal body safety compulsory in schools; Terrae Lee, the co-founder of the Young Survivor’s Foundation who was sexually abused at the age of 11; and 11-year-old Kaelin, a survivor involved in public speaking and education.

The special also provides prevention training by Darkness to Light – attended by the two Duggar sisters in an effort to promote awareness – and spotlights RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline, which provides free, confidential support to victims of sexual abuse.

Breaking the Silence is to premiere on TLC on August 30 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.