Ella Fairon will direct the short documentary Saving Daisy, following sexual assault survivor Daisy Coleman through treatment for her post-traumatic stress disorder. Viewers first met Coleman in the Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy, which told parallel stories about the trauma associated with sexual assault.
Saving Daisy will largely focus on eye movement desensitization reprocessing, a form of treatment for people who have experienced trauma - a treatment Fairon swears by as a survivor herself.
“I did EMDR when I was a young survivor and it absolutely changed my life,” Fairon said. “Many survivors have come to Daisy and I since Audrie & Daisy came out to ask us, ‘How did you get through it?’ ‘How do you forget?’ ‘When do the nightmares stop?’” Fairon said. “I have known my answer ever since I accomplished EMDR back in 2014. My PTSD is completely manageable now and I have been able to pursue my life happily.”
Fairon hopes the film will raise awareness for this alternative form of treatment by following Coleman’s journey.
“Our goal with this film is to make more people, especially survivors, aware of EMDR because it is an incredibly effective therapy that so few people are aware exists,” she said. “When you look up EMDR, the only results are for war veterans with PTSD. But in reality, this type of therapy is proven to have long lasting sustainability for all forms of trauma resulting in PTSD and is much more effective than standard therapy.”
In addition to raising awareness about EDMR, the film will become part of a library of tools for survivors, educators and allies as part of SafeBAE, the survivor-founded, teen-led organization Fairon and Coleman helped found.
“SafeBAE educates middle and high-school students about healthy relationships, dating violence, sexual assault prevention, affirmative consent, safe bystander intervention, survivor self-care, and survivor rights under Title IX,” Fairon said. “This short film will further help to support survivors and their families by providing them with crucial information about healing resources that are incredibly not well known. With EMDR treatment having been found to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD, there is very little information and access to it, available to survivors and their families.”
Fairon was inspired to make the film and help her friend through this treatment following the death of Daisy’s youngest brother in a car accident last June.
“I was one of the first people she called after she found out, and was there for her every second, through the very sensitive first couple of days. She called me shortly after the funeral and through her tears told me she needed help, true help, and that she wasn’t going to make it on her own anymore,” Fairon said. “This was huge because Daisy and I have been doing advocacy work together now for years and became very close after creating SafeBAE and speaking around the world together.”
Saving Daisy aims to provide hope for survivors who, like Coleman, might be hesitant to reach out and ask for help.
“Through all of this time I have known Daisy, she has never asked for help - she has only wanted to help others. She told me healing for her only felt like healing when she was healing others,” Fairon said. “Saving Daisy will be the film that shows survivors everywhere that they, too, can survive. One of the most common side effects of trauma is survivors comparing their trauma against others. Because of the severity of Daisy’s assault and the other traumas she’s faced in her life, so many people have come to her social media pages looking for inspiration for how to get through so much trauma. This film will not only provide the inspiration those people are looking for, but the information about how they can access the same help and support.”
“So very few survivors and PTSD sufferers know this treatment exists and we want this film to change that,” actress, activist and Saving Daisy producer Torrey DeVitto said. “We want them to know you deserve to heal.”
Photos Courtesy of Ella Fairon and Layton Scarbrough
© Georgiana E. Presecky (11/30/18) FF2 Media