The Play Origins Workshops & Readings Sibling Abuse Impact
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Almost everyone has a story ... some stories shared with the playwright ...

“Dad left us, and mom locked herself in her room with a bottle of whisky. My eldest sister took charge, but she wasn’t equipped. When she couldn’t cope, she’d lock us outside, in the middle of winter, in our pajamas. We still don’t get along. And my brother … I can’t talk about my brother.”

“My client had a brother who raped her from the time she was five. Later, he got his friends to do it. She pressed charges but only the friend – one friend – was charged.”

“I wonder if my sister thinks of what I did to her as abuse. I’ve never thought of it as abuse. But I guess it was. I was mean to her. Really mean.”

“Well, my brother beat the shit out of me every day. So, I beat the shit out of my little brother. And he beat the shit out of the kids at school. That’s just what we did.”

"I just listened to the CBC segment you're in. My sister also bullied me relentlessly. What really struck me was how you said you loved her and wanted her attention. That was also my case. When she wasn't tormenting me, I wanted her approval. She would occasionally "let me" hang out with her. I spent a decade with an abusive man and it struck me today that this is likely where it had it roots for me. I was abused and yet loved him and wanted his approval, so I hung in there. You've struck a huge chord with me. I am convinced that many abused women had similar experiences with sibling abuse. Somebody they love, admire and whose approval they want, who doles it out in dribs and drabs punctuated by abusive behavior. I'm 61 and just today put all those pieces together." - CBC Listener, Ontario

"It was great to hear your interview on CBC. One of my clients actually brought up the interview during session last night. She is having concerns about her two boys not getting along. She shared that your story made her look more closely about what was actually happening between her boys. It was great to hear that your message is reaching others and people are actually having discussions now about this very concerning issue. Hopefully research will follow these discussions because of your willingness to share your story." - JS, Toronto ON

"I first became aware of both the issue and Lorene Stanwick's play while listening to The Current on CBC. It gave me a much deeper understanding of my own life and how sibling abuse had touched me. I have been witness to two of the in-process play readings and Broken Branches has been pivotal in my ability to make the connections in my own life, deepen my understanding of this issue, and create healing possibilities. Sibling abuse is a major societal issue, and as such, we all benefit from an artist's exploration."- AG, Teacher, Artist

"As an educator at the post secondary level, I can attest to the emotional damage that bullying creates as victims struggle with righting their life, and the long term "invisible" damage this experience causes. I have experienced sibling bullying first hand, and I believe this theme is extremely timely. Toronto needs more playwrights with the courage and insight to tackle such important issues." - DM, College Professor

From the panelists on CBC's The Current:

"Sibling bullying and abuse has long been unaddressed. I was pleased to see this subject covered in depth by The Current on CBC radio... it touched me so deeply... I was a victim, and I became a bully. As a victim, my every decision was filtered through the litany of negative beliefs drummed into me by my abuser for 10+ years. As a bully to my youngest sister, I made her life awful. Eventually I apologized, and subsequently worked hard to rebuild our relationship, to make amends. Decades later I still see effects I've had on her life, at every turn. The effects of sibling abuse have lasted a lifetime, for us both. ...Parents often don't see, or don't recognize what is going on. Yet this abuse can impact the emotional landscape of the victim, for decades. I support the creation and production of Broken Branches. These stories need to be heard. To shed light on this topic via a theatrical production is a wonderful idea" - Diana

"The importance of bringing awareness to sibling abuse cannot be overstated. The mental and physical cruelty of sibling abuse is a deep dark secret that must be brought into the light. The effects of being beaten and ridiculed over a period of years, scars the psyche permanently. The complete loss of self-esteem leaves the victim helpless to defend him/herself and escape the violence.The isolation, loneliness, pain and fear affected my life for more than 30 years.Child abuse is often discussed and the consequences are known however sibling abuse is a hidden secret. No one wants to listen and society is left to cope with the physical and emotional wreckage that leads to suicide, depression and despair. I truly hope Lorene's play shines a bright light on the dark past for so many of us who are never heard." - Roger

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