April – The Journey Begins

May 31st, 2009 In: Newsletter By: Comments 0

Excitement set in as I was finally able to sit in a filled theater, have the lights turn down and unveil the message of Sin by Silence. After almost 8 years of work we finally debuted, in March, at the Cleveland International Film Festival to standing ovations and packed theaters for 2 screenings that were followed up with hours of meaningful conversations about the crisis domestic violence. Though we were unknown in Cleveland we were able to connect with many survivors, many newly inspired advocates and even receive the honor of placing 2nd runner up for the “Audience Choice Award” – being recognized out of over 300 films…including many documentaries fresh from Sundance. But, even more importantly, we were able to take some time to stay true to the core message of the film. We shared the film with 22 women at a local, Cleveland shelter and helped inspire them on their journey to independence. As one woman said through her tears, “I don’t feel guilty anymore and finally know I made the right decision by leaving.”

There could not be a better time for Sin by Silence to be released. This is a crucial moment with domestic violence being discussed every day due to the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation. Are they together? Did they break up? Why doesn’t she just leave? Rihanna, along with countless other domestic violence victims, has some tough decisions to make; and I am sure it does not help that every form of media is victimizing her regularly. Yet, I do think this provides us all a perfect opportunity to realize that no one is immune to domestic violence. Abusive relationships can happen to anyone!  We are all vulnerable to falling in love with someone who could potentially hurt us.

Utilizing the stories of the amazing and powerful women of Convicted Women Against Abuse allows us to learn about the dangers of abusive relationships firsthand. So, as the excitement builds, and we continue to book more screenings across the country, I am honored to have you along for our journey. We are making a difference, will continue to keep you posted, and hope you will help us spread the word!

— Olivia Klaus, Director of Sin by Silence

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