'Als je eens wist' is a three-part documentary series by Hilde Van Mieghem about different forms of child abuse and family violence. In each episode, she talks to three victims about what happened to them as a child or adolescent, about the circumstances in which it happened and the impact it had on their lives and personalities. These interviews are then supplemented with images of their daily lives.
All of this results in a painful and heartbreaking collection of stories about emotional terror, physical and sexual violence of (step)parents towards their children. The victims also talk about the defense mechanisms they developed, their doubts, insecurities, and feelings of guilt. How they were torn between feelings of fear and love for the perpetrators, because they still were their fathers or mothers. They try to explain how helpless and lonely they often felt and how the official social assistance was well-intentioned, but not always efficient.
Child psychiatrist Peter Adriaensens, juvenile court judge Nicole Caluwé, pediatrician Johan Marchand and trauma psychiatrists Bessel van der Kolk and Leen Thys place the stories in a broader perspective.