March, film focus attention on domestic violence

Oct 17th, 2009 In: Press Sin by Silence Tour By: Comments 0

Article from Journal & Courier in Lafayette, IN –

As the sun set Thursday, a somber group of more than 200 carried lit candles out of the YWCA and marched down Sixth Street in Lafayette.

The crowd was headed toward Duncan Hall, on Ferry Street, in a show of solidarity for the victims and survivors of domestic violence. Coordinated by the YWCA, the event included the showing of a documentary chronicling the tales of women who were imprisoned after killing their abusers.

The idea was to bring awareness to an issue that often lurks silently within the country’s domestic fabric.

“This event is important for this community because I think there’s a lot of myths associated with domestic violence,” said Danielle Gaylord, director of the YWCA’s domestic violence intervention and prevention program. “One of those myths is that it doesn’t happen in this community.”

As part of the event, the film’s director and one of its featured women spoke to the crowd at Duncan Hall.

The screening and talks were part of a national outreach tour traveling to the 10 states with the worst domestic violence statistics, said Olivia Klaus, the Los-Angeles based director and producer behind “Sin by Silence.”

The domestic violence referenced in the film was particularly personal to Denise Powell, who sought help at the YWCA after an abusive boyfriend threatened to kill her.

“This is a way to let people know that it does happen in this community, and it’s very serious,” said Powell, who attended the event.

Joy Dugan, who teaches consumer family sciences at Purdue Extension, said events such as the one Thursday are important to help residents realize that domestic violence affects the entire community.

“It needs to be addressed as a community issue,” she said.

Klaus said the film is her way of illuminating the tragedy of domestic violence and providing a catalyst for change.

“Laws are not able to change what goes on behind closed doors,” she said. “But what we can do is partner with the community and community organizations so people can just be aware, and know the warning signs.”

The event was part of a series the YWCA planned in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Gaylord said.

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