The unbelievable true story of Jan Broberg is now out in the world for all to see. Broberg, an actress who has appeared in Everwood, I’m Sorry and Iron Man 3, is the subject of the true-crime documentary Abducted in Plain Sight. The movie came out in 2017, but reached a whole new level when it became available to stream on Netflix.
“I’m actually incredibly grateful and humbled because the reason that you tell a story such as mine is that you really hope to help the most number of people possible. And there is no greater platform than actually being on Netflix,” Broberg, who is the executive director of the Center for the Arts at Kayenta, told E! News. “It’s given me the opportunity to actually be able to talk about what happened and maybe help somebody else prevent it from happening to their own children…raise awareness, get our antennas up and start a conversation that maybe otherwise wouldn’t happen…”
To summarize Broberg’s story to a blurb is difficult. She was sexually abused as a child by a family friend, who abducted her on two different occasions, carried on an affair with her mother and even had a sexual encounter with her father. She said she was conditioned, and brainwashed, for years to keep the abuse a secret. Her childhood was one of grooming and manipulation—and it’s a story she wants to share to help others.
Reaction from viewers has been swift, and Broberg has seen some of it. Viewers have been critical of her parents, who both appear in the documentary, and their interactions with her abuser and how they handled the abductions. Broberg said forgiving her parents was part of her healing process.
“I think part of my forgiving my parents was really to help them forgive themselves and to say you too were groomed and brainwashed,” she said. “And that’s the part that I don’t think people really understand. If it was easy to understand, they’d see it, and they don’t.”
Broberg said the arts and acting saved her.
“Being in the theater was my healing space because I wasn’t talking, I didn’t tell anybody anything…boy, did I learn how to share my emotions on stage. I could scream, I could cry, I could be somebody else during a period of time when I couldn’t actually talk about what was happening. So, theater saved my life. That’s why I think I’ve always been involved in the arts because I know the power,” she said.
At the end of the day, Broberg said she wants people who have heard her story that “this story could be their story.”
“I want them to be able to put themselves into my shoes, my parents’ shoes, any of the shoes that fit or that could fit and raise their antenna and see something that is too awful to imagine or see because it is someone you know, love or trust, harming someone you know love and trust. And when it’s a child, it’s gruesome,” she told us.” So, before you watch, you need to understand, there are going to be moments where you’re going to want to throw you TV out the window and you’re going to be angry, and all of those are good, normal human emotions that should move us to action and to educate ourselves better. That’s what I want people to take away from it.”
Click play on the videos above to hear more.
Abducted in Plain Sight is now streaming on Netflix.