Film series works to create a trauma-informed community

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- There are many people across the stateline going through traumatic experiences. The Winnebago County Trauma Informed Community is working to make the area more trauma aware. A film series is helping to educate the community and show us how we can help those who are suffering.

“Resilience is what makes a human unstoppable,” said trauma survivor Carly Rice.

Carly Rice is no stranger to traumatic experiences.

“I'm a survivor of molestation, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse. I became a prostitute and lived in cardboard boxes on the street.”

Rice says she felt like a lost cause. That's why she along with the Winnebago County Trauma Informed initiative is helping our community become trauma aware with a film series.

“We see it not only in the high numbers of domestic violence incidents we have but the high numbers of children involved in crime, crime in general, the high numbers of opioid addicts,” said clinical licensed social worker Karyn Schwitters.

The second film of the series focused on resilience, something Rice says she had to learn to overcome trauma. Now it inspires her to help others.

“It takes a community to lift a person up that has been through an amount of trauma. Human beings here can reach out and build these people up and say ‘hey you are worthy,’” said Rice.

Organizers hope we as a community can step up and help those who may need help after traumatic events but may not know how to heal.

“You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. You can bend and you don’t have to break,” said Rice.

The Winnebago County Trauma Informed Community's next film will be 'Minding the Gap’. The film by Rockford natives is about a group of skateboarders that relate with one another from growing up in domestic violence households.