During 1995 Witness to Violence, a collaborative public artwork focused on domestic violence, was presented in fifteen cities throughout the country. Women survivors of abuse signed their names in black to a large canvas, friends and relatives of women killed by their batterers wrote the victims' names in red and men updated the national year-to-date tally of battered women. Every fifteen seconds a bell was rung to indicate that another women was being battered in the United States.
The project was documented with many hours of video footage and extensive interviews with battered women, men in batterer's programs and family members of murdered women. From Brutality to Hope is a twenty four minute video on domestic violence using this source material. The video documents Witness to Violence, but more, it gives real voices and faces to the stories of brutality, healing and hope from the men and women whose lives have been shaped by this violence.
From Brutality to Hope was completed in January 1997 and is ready for distribution. It is my hope that it will both raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence and motivate people to work to end it. As with much of my work I am especially interested in reaching out to men to take more responsibility in ending violence against women.
From Brutality to Hope is something to see and to share with others. Donate a copy to your town or school library or to a local scouting or youth group. Use it as a centerpiece for small gatherings to raise money for your local women's shelter. Give it to a friend who has been touched by with domestic violence in some way. Contact your local community access cable TV station to air the piece. Owning a copy and showing to friends and community members is assured to be a moving experience, perhaps giving a new perspective on the issue and inspiring an increased commitment of time and energy to stopping violence against women.
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