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Prevent Child Abuse America and Saving Promise Sign on as Advocacy Partners for the Film Adaption of “A Child Called It”

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Prevent Child Abuse America        Saving Promise


#1 New York Times Bestseller Tells an Unforgettable Story of Child Abuse

Non-Profits Will Provide Expert Perspective, Help Raise Public Understanding of Child Abuse, and Provide Resources and Strategies for Prevention

CHICAGO and WASHINGTON, D.C, April 27, 2022 — Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) and Saving Promise, two of the nation’s leading nonprofits focused on the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, have been named advocacy partners for the film adaptation of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, A Child Called It.

The iconic book tells the harrowing story of author David Pelzer’s physical and emotional abuse by an unstable, alcoholic mother before becoming a foster child at the age of 12. Since its release in 1995, the book has sold millions of copies worldwide and was a New York Times Bestseller for years.

As partners to the production, PCA America and Saving Promise will provide expert perspective on abuse-related issues, help the filmmakers raise public awareness and understanding of the societal conditions and issues underlying abuse, and provide resources and strategies for intervention and prevention.

“April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, and there couldn’t be a better time to announce this unique and powerful partnership,” said Dr. Melissa Merrick, CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “While preventing child abuse and neglect seems BIG, prevention IS possible – it’s a solvable public issue that affects all communities. A Child Called It will raise broad public awareness of abuse and neglect, and share actionable ways for audiences to get engaged. We look forward to this partnership helping to move the needle on prevention, so that kids, families and entire communities have the opportunity to thrive – today, tomorrow and for generations to come.”

The film was co-written by David Goldblum, who is producing it along with producing partners Lily Blavin of Lightning Strikes Productions and Siena Oberman of Artemis. They anticipate going into production in the second half of the year, with a 2023 release.

“I am hopeful that with the help of PCA America and Saving Promise, we can spark a sustained and long-overdue national conversation on abuse,” Goldblum said.

Dr. Merrick said the film comes at a critical juncture. “These are not easy times for families. You don’t need to be a social scientist to observe the coarsening of our society. At the same time, the pandemic has dialed up many of the risk factors for abuse and neglect, including isolation, unrelenting stress, job loss, mental health challenges, financial distress, and uncertainty about the future.”

These circumstances have put the 73 million American children under the age of 18 at particular risk. A nationwide survey of 7,705 high school students conducted in the first half of 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found high rates of reported abuse, with more than 55 percent of teenage respondents saying they suffered emotional abuse from a parent or another adult in their house in the preceding year, and more than 11 percent saying they suffered physical abuse.

Children subject to abuse frequently pay an additional price down the road. Studies suggest that one-third of perpetrators of abuse experienced some sort of abuse or neglect themselves and that more than half of adults who experienced or witnessed psychological or physical abuse as children experience domestic abuse later in life.

“Given the intergenerational nature of abuse, if we are ever to make meaningful progress against child abuse and domestic violence, we must prevent them from happening in the first place,” said Saving Promise founder and CEO LY Marlow. “We need to raise awareness of abuse in all its many manifestations, creating a culture of prevention and rewriting the all-too-frequent narrative of silence and acquiescence.”

“Collaborations like these are critical, allowing us to share resources and bring our collective voices to bear,” Marlow said. “We can either pay now and protect our children and families or pay later when the abuse has been inflicted and they are in even greater need of healthcare and other social services.”


Commemorating its 50th year in 2022, Prevent Child Abuse America is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect. It has chapters nationwdie, and nearly 600 Healthy Families America home visitation sites throughout the country. It promotes services that improve child well-being and develops programs that help to prevent all types of abuse and neglect. It is rated as one of the top charities for children by Consumer Reports and charity oversight organizations, including Charity Navigator and GuideStar. Please visit to learn more.

Saving Promise is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that brings people together from all walks of life to prevent intimate partner violence and create a safer world for generations to come. It has used a wide variety of approaches to frame intimate partner violence as a public health issue. It was founded by LY Marlow, inspired by five generations of women in her family subject to domestic abuse and violence, including her granddaughter, Promise. She is the author of two books on intimate partner violence.

To provide financial support for PCA America and Saving Promise’s advocacy efforts in support of A Child Called It, please contact Jennifer Jones at



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