MGM’s movie adaptation of Frank Baum’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was intended solely for entertainment. Yet this movie can also serve as an allegory to guide those on the journey of recovering from sexual abuse.
Early in the movie, Dorothy encounters a frightening twister that threatens her existence and turns her world upside down before leaving her unconscious. Then, she is dropped with a thud in a strange place where she no longer feels safe or secure. Everything is unfamiliar and uncertain. She’s not in Kansas any more and she must decide what she’s going to do.
The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that in 2003, 14.8% of women had fallen victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, and 90% of all rape victims were female.*
For these women, sexual abuse tore into their lives like a cyclone, turning everything they knew upside down and rendering them emotionally unconscious. Then one day they awakened with a thud to the realization that life as they knew it was gone. They were “not in Kansas anymore,” and they had to decide what to do.
This realization is the beginning of the road out of Oz. It’s the point where a woman stands at the threshold between the sepia tones of the past and the bright possibility of a new life.