Directed by Joanna Kerns, Lifetime’s ‘Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story’ is a crime movie revolving around a mother named Julie Posey, who is alarmed when a pedophile connects with her daughter in an online chat room. Hence, the homemaker decides to take the reins in her own hand and turn the tables around by posing as a lonely teenager on online platforms to catch any sexual predators trying to take advantage of minors.
Released in 2003, the Lifetime movie features compelling performances from the cast members, including Annie Potts (‘Young Sheldon‘), Michael O’Keefe, and Carl Marotte. Besides, the thriller’s realistic concerns about possible online threats when the internet world was just starting to become accessible to the general public certainly garnered empathy from many in the audience. However, many people are curious if ‘Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story’ is simply a fictional tale or rooted in real-life events, and we are here to explore the same!
Is Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story a True Story?
Yes, ‘Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story’ is based on a true story. The film closely follows the actions of a real-life woman named Julie Posey, whose crusade against online predators helped make the internet safer for minors using the platform. For her, the work was not only an ethical responsibility but also a cathartic process, given her own tragic history when it came to sexual predators.
Julie’s work against online predators began around 1996 when she interned at Jefferson County District Attorney’s office in Golden, Colorado. While working there, she got to meet an investigator, who, at the time, was starting to see an uprise in the type of crime that few had heard of before. There was an influx of reports against predators using the internet to take advantage of children, some of whom were allegedly even traveling thousands of miles intending to have sexual relations with minors.
The whole situation did not sit well with Julie, who has publically shared her past regarding sexual abuse. According to her, she was sexually assaulted by one of her neighbors for a significant amount of her childhood. At 16, Julie was abducted and raped by a stranger, which also left a mark on her. Knowing how vulnerable children can be when it came to such matters, she became determined to try her best to curb this issue.
The initial operation undertaken by Julie and her colleagues at the District Attorney’s office led to the arrests of nine perpetrators within a couple of months, belonging to three states. Her association with law enforcement lasted nearly seven years, as she helped in most child predator cases. Besides, the work done by Julie certainly helped make the community a better place, given the proactive nature of their operation compared to a reactive one.
In 2002, when Julie was approached by producers in Hollywood who were interested in telling her story on the big screen, she was floored, having never expected such a thing. Yet, she embraced the opportunity and ultimately hired Eric Tuchman as the movie’s writer, with Ira Pincus as one of the executive producers. The same year, Julie decided to share her story with the world through a book titled ‘My Life as a Cybercrime Fighter.’
The impact of Julie’s work, combined with the movie’s fame based on her life, has undoubtedly been quite wide-reaching. The author confessed that after the 2003 release of the Lifetime movie, she was contacted by many people who either wanted to thank her for her efforts or ask for advice about recovering from unfortunate past incidents. In addition, some calls were seemingly made to her to report cases of sexual abuse.
Indeed, ‘Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story’ tells the story of a courageous woman who works alongside law enforcement in taking a practical approach against predators trying to prey on minors through the internet. While the movie does take some creative liberty when it comes to telling the story, the association of Julie Posey herself lends well to the film’s overall credibility.
Read More: Best Internet and Social Media Movies