In the film Searching for Angela Shelton, a woman named Angela Shelton travels around the continental United States searching for and surveying other Angela Shelton’s. While surveying these other women she learns that twenty four out of the forty she spoke to are survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape. One woman she spoke to lived in the town that the host Angela’s sexually abusive father lives in, and she tracks sexual predators for a living. Angela’s journey is about self fulfillment and breakthrough.
The documentary gives Angela the strength to confront her father about his abusive past with her and her siblings on Fathers Day. Searching for Angela Shelton was a scientific study of female victims of crime, solely because she was only surveying other females with the same name. The movie is a real eye opener to the amount of sexual crime that really exists in the world. There were of course Angela Shelton’s she spoke with that were not victims. Sixteen of the Angela Shelton’s she spoke to have not been victims of sexual abuse/crimes or domestic abuse.
The abuse that some of the Angela’s went through was indescribable. One victim couldn’t even bring herself to talk about it and self medicated with copious amounts of alcohol, she was quoted as saying “I’m lower than a dog”. The host Angela told of how her father used to make her “Jerk him off” and allowed her brother to “run around the house with a broom handle up his ass” When it comes to the question “Is each of the victimizations unique or do we find patterns in the victimizations experienced? ” the answer is both.
Often times a sexual predators will have a pattern that can be either easily identified or take professional analysis. Other times the victimization is unique. Unique victimizations may be caused by the predator planning out an attack. Crimes like the ones described in the movie impact different victims on different levels. Some victims may blame themselves and not report it. Some victims may completely repress it as though it never happened while others may be haunted for the rest of their lives or medicate themselves with harmful substances like I mentioned earlier.
This film undoubtedly contributes to the understanding of crime victims. It shows them others that are in or have been in the same situation they are and how others deal it. If the women identified in the movie were interviewed by the CVS I feel as though most of them would not report their crimes. Many of the women have found their own way to get past and deal with what has happened to them and would just be happier to let it settle without going to court.
Others may seek out their proper justice but I feel as though more women would not report them. My emotions while watching this movie were those of disgust for the perpetrators and those of empathy for the victims. I am left with questions after watching this film like “ How many me’s out there are sexual predators” and “ Why would a woman want to reveal her past like this to the general public” but after writing this paper I’ve realized that this film has helped her move on and help others move on as well.