We recently went to a screening of Cynthia Hill's documentary Private Violence at CUNY - and it is definitely worth seeing. 

Learn more here:  http://www.privateviolence.com/

 

Private Violence explores the complexities of domestic violence through multiple stories of survivors, focusing on activist Kit Gruelle and survivor Deanna Walter. 

Kidnapped and nearly beaten to death, Deanna's journey to seek justice for the horrifying abuse inflicted by her estranged husband illuminates just how difficult it is for survivors to take legal action. Along the way, Deanna and Kit encounter how the justice system constantly fails survivors - many cases without evidence of internal injuries, use of a weapon, etc. terrifying domestic abuse is only charged as a misdemeanor with very minimal jail time. Ultimately Deanna's former husband is sentenced, but only after a long court battle that reveals numerous law loop holes that allow abusers to go unpunished. 

For the past 30 years Kit has worked as an advocate for survivors, as well as with law enforcement, shelters, and doctors to provide effective training on how to recognize abusive situations. Her testimony is powerful - a scene where she describes her ex-husband's hands, how the same beautiful hands that taught her to garden caused so much pain, hauntingly touches on the complexities of staying in an abusive relationship.

With startling facts such as how 75% of domestic abuse murder victims are murdered after they leave their partners, Private Violence blows away the common question, "Why did she stay?" and instead asks, "Why did he abuse?" and "Why does the justice system constantly fail survivors?" 

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