EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has set a premiere date for Aly Raisman: Darkness To Light, a three-hour documentary special, which reveals the tumultuous journey to healing from the perspective of sexual assault survivors. The special will air Friday, September 24 at 8p/7c on Lifetime.
Darkness To Light follows the three-time Olympic gold medalist as she advocates for survivors while sharing personal accounts and coping strategies that have helped on her own journey of healing. Raisman meets with individuals who have suffered abuse, revealing the trauma that lasts from childhood to adulthood, and the triggers that affect them – and her – physically and emotionally. By sharing their stories and insights gleaned along the way, their experiences are validated, and survivors are reminded that they are never alone in their journey and that there is hope. You can watch a promo clip below the story.
“Aly Raisman continues to be a true champion as she uses her platform to address widespread abuse, elevate voices of survivors from all walks of life, and provide an opportunity for survivors and experts to come together to talk about how to heal,” said Amy Winter, EVP and Head of Programming, Lifetime and LMN. “Lifetime is proud to partner with Aly on this special which we believe will create meaningful conversation and provide very real takeaway to raise awareness and help those out there grappling with abuse.”
Raisman addressed her abuser, Larry Nassar, in a Michigan courtroom in January 2018, rallying other survivors to step forward and demand justice and accountability. Her voice helped set off a tectonic shift, exposing the pervasive system of abuse and enabling that has harmed America’s youth. Nassar is currently serving a 60-year federal prison sentence following his conviction on multiple charges of sexual assault.
“The inspiration behind this project is to show support for survivors and let them know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Raisman. “Our society has a long history of enabling abusers instead of supporting survivors and this is a huge problem. I hope people will tune in to learn some tools to recognize and help prevent abuse, and understand just how important it is to believe and support survivors. And for all the survivors out there, please know that you are not alone, you will not feel like this forever, and that there is hope.”
Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light explores one of the largest child sexual abuse cases in the country where a beloved community pediatrician abused several generations of children and showcases the aftermath for the survivors in Johnstown, PA, follows conversations with a male survivor of the Ohio State abuse scandal, and details how disabled and transgender communities can be specific targets of abuse.
In addition, the special features an exclusive conversation with meToo founder Tarana Burke, in depth information from experts from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) and the nonprofit Darkness to Light, whose mission is to empower adults to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light closes with a roundtable discussion with experts and advocates – including Raisman, Anton Gunn and Rachael Denhollander – on how to help prevent child sexual abuse while providing tools on how to move forward.
The special is supported by Lifetime’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign, which brings together a coalition of nonprofit organizations to provide resources to those in need and features a PSA for the nonprofit Raisman works with Darkness to Light that will air during the broadcast of the special. Helpline information for RAINN’s National Assault Hotline and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline will also be shared throughout the special’s airing.
Aly Raisman: Darkness to Light is executive produced by Raisman; Steve Ascher, Kristy Sabat and Patty Ivins Specht for Six West Media group, Kyell Thomas, Emily Hejlik, and Peter Carlisle for Octagon. Amy Winter and Shura Davison executive produce for Lifetime.