We did it! We've reached our goal and we couldn't have done it without you. This has been a true team effort from start to finish.
For those who still wish to contribute we want you to know that any additional funds raised will be set aside for community based events and trainings. If you are interested in bringing Private Violence to your community please contact us through Facebook or the Private Violence website.
With humility and gratitude,
Kit and Cynthia
Why Private Violence Matters to Me
I’m a domestic violence survivor. And I’ve been an advocate for victims/survivors of domestic violence for over twenty-five years. I’m an advocate because I’ve been lucky enough to have kind, caring people come into my life at critically important times and I know what a difference it makes. I’m an advocate because I know how difficult it is to deal not only with an abusive partner but also with oppressive systems that rarely deliver justice to victims. And I’m an advocate because I love being a cheerleader for women who are in the process of transcending the violence they have experienced. It’s like watching a birth.
For the last ten years I’ve been working with a talented filmmaking team to create Private Violence, a feature-length documentary film and multimedia project. I started the project because I wanted to change the national dialogue about domestic violence and set people straight on the idea that “all she has to do is leave.” Domestic violence is at the core of so many other kinds of violence. It’s critical that we understand the root causes and how what goes on behind closed doors affects our society.
We have extraordinary footage of everyone from policy makers to historians to activists, including our executive producer, Gloria Steinem, and Vice President Joe Biden. But the documentary centers on stories of domestic violence survivors, their families, and advocates. Featured in the film is Deanna Walters, a young woman I met in an advocacy training session I facilitated in Western N.C. Deanna told her story for the first time to the women gathered there. She described her kidnapping and beating by her estranged husband Robbie in the cab of his 18-wheeler, in front of their three-year old daughter Martina. An Oklahoma cop who stopped them said of Deanna, “I had never seen anyone in that bad of shape. I truly believe that if I hadn’t stopped them, she’d be dead.” Deanna’s transformation from victim to survivor is at the heart of the film.
So far, we have produced Private Violence: The Trainer’s Edition, a short documentary that Gloria Steinem described as “the best film I’ve seen on domestic violence.” We’ve also finished A New Kind of Strength, a short film about men working to end violence against women. Right now, we are close to finishing the feature film version of Private Violence. With your help, we will be ready to show a final edit by October 2012, in honor of Domestic Violence month.
What We Need and What You Get
We need to raise $15,000 to complete the final edit. After years of fundraising, outreach, production, and editing, we are so close to having a finished film! We have winnowed down literally over a hundred hours of footage to create this feature length documentary. I am working with the award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Hill to use Deanna’s story to illuminate and explore the complexities of domestic violence, and to demonstrate that domestic violence is a crime that reaches beyond a particular race or class of women.
We’re most excited about the perk that is available to everyone who makes a $10 donation and up. The battered women’s movement has always been made up of people from all walks of life who came together motivated by one common goal: to end violence against women. By supporting this project, you will have an opportunity to honor someone in your life or community who is helping to make a difference. Or you can take this opportunity to memorialize someone who lost their life to domestic violence. These tributes will live on a dedicated page on the Private Violence website.
Other perks include DVDs of our two short films, a finished copy of the feature length film, an exclusive invitation to meet Gloria Steinem at our NYC film premier, and more!
Plus, your contribution to Private Violence is a tax-deductible donation (minus the actual cost of the Perk). You will receive a letter from our fiscal sponsor, the Southern Documentary Fund, for your tax records.
We have delivered over 500 copies of Private Violence: The Trainer’s Edition across the United States and around the world. In the state of Tennessee, the DVD was viewed by 18,000 social workers and criminal justice professionals. The short documentary A New Kind of Strength has been viewed online over 250 times, in countries as far flung as New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Poland, Italy, England, Canada, and France. And the Private Violence trailer on our website (www.privateviolence.com) has been seen by over 2600 people. We’ve already shown that we know how to make compelling documentary films that make a real impact.
We have the support of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Futures Without Violence, the National Center of Domestic and Sexual Violence, and other state and local organizations that are ready and waiting to share the feature length version of Private Violence with their constituents. In other words, we have a guaranteed national and international audience! You are making a contribution to a documentary that will do a lot more than sit on a shelf. It will be a catalyst for awareness and, most importantly, change.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can make a donation to Private Violence – thank you! But if you’re not in a position to give, but want to support the project, please spread the word to your friends, your colleagues, your families – anyone who you know who wants to help make a difference.
Who We Are
Executive Producer and Project Creator
Kit Gruelle is a survivor of domestic violence and has worked as a battered women’s advocate and community educator for over 25 years. She educates advocates, criminal justice professionals, healthcare providers, faith leaders, educators and other allied professionals about domestic violence. She also served as a commissioner for the North Carolina Crime Victims Compensation. She is dedicated to the production of films and other media that challenge the stereotypes and prevailing belief systems about violence against women and children and highlight the prevalence of out-of-date responses that do little to change the fundamental dynamics of domestic violence.
Gloria Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the Women's Liberation Movement of the late 60s and 70s. She co-founded Ms. Magazine and is a prominent writer and political figure. Steinem has founded many organizations and projects and has been the recipient of multiple awards and honors.
Cindy Waitt serves as Director of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and as a Board member to the Kind World Foundation. Cindy serves on the National Advisory Board for the Family Violence Prevention Fund's International Center to End Violence and has been a member of the Clinton Global Initiative since 2005. Under her leadership, the Waitt Institute launched the international program "Coaching Boys Into Men" and sponsored three national male focused Ad Council campaigns.
Cynthia Hill is an independent documentary filmmaker living in Durham, NC. Hill began her production career working as an editor in NYC. She began producing her own films in 1997. Her credits include Tobacco Money Feeds My Family (Producer/Director/Co-Editor), The Guestworker (Producer/Director/Co-Editor), Survivor to Survivor (Project Director), February One (Co-Producer) and Grace and the New Rules (Editor). Hill’s work has appeared nationally on PBS and the Sundance Channel and featured in festivals around the globe. Hill also co-founded the Southern Documentary Fund and has lectured at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Rebecca Cerese produced the documentary February One, which tells the story of the 1960 Civil Rights Sit-ins. The film aired on PBS as part of the Independent Lens series to mark the 45th Anniversary of the sit-ins, and has screened at the King Center, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the National Archives. She served as co-producer for the documentary, Durham – A Self Portrait and was director, producer and writer for the film Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the North Carolina Fund, which aired on UNC-TV in 2010.
Dawn K. Dreyer has worked with documentary artists on every stage of the production process, including funding and website development. For five years, she served as the founding board chair of the Southern Documentary Fund. Formerly the director of the Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, Dawn continues to teach in the program. She is the founder and director of Cracked Window Studios, which encompasses both her consulting work and her own creative projects. A mixed-media conceptual artist, Dawn creates in clay, photography, audio, and writing, with projects that focus on the intersections of spirituality, social justice, creativity, and community.
Jenn Cromling has worked in film and video production in the Triangle for the past 12 years, starting off as a production assistant with Figure 8 Films working on a variety of shows for TLC. She joined the Southern Documentary Fund as Operations Director in 2007 and continues to wear many hats doing freelance production work with local filmmakers. Her production credits include Survivor to Survivor and Who’s Next. Most recently, she has been a production associate on The Loving Story, an HBO film that was short-listed for the 2012 Academy Awards for Best Documentary. Cromling graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Greensboro, with a double major in Broadcasting/Cinema and Sociology. She is a proud native of Durham, North Carolina and currently lives in Raleigh.
A documentary and editorial photographer for the past 20 years, Rex Miller’s clients have included ABC News, American Express, Atlantic Records, Calvin Klein, CBS, Forbes, John Kennedy, Jr., McDonald's, Musician, Newsweek, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Nickelodeon, the Robin Hood Foundation, Rolling Stone, Spin, Sony Music, and Time. Miller directed, produced and photographed the documentary feature, SOMAY KU: A Uganda Tennis Story, which premiered on the Tennis Channel and won "Best Documentary" at the Malibu Film Festival. Miller’s other films for the Tennis Channel include Who’s Next and Behind These Walls. Miller’s cinematography credits include The Loving Story, an HBO film that was short-listed for the 2012 Academy Awards for Best Documentary.
Tom Vickers has been working as a documentary editor for over 10 years with his work appearing on PBS, the Discovery Channel, ESPN and the Tennis Channel. His feature documentary work includes “Ain’t In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm”which screened at the SouthBySouthwest and Los Angeles Film Festivals, “February One” which appeared on Independent Lens on National PBS, “Change Comes Knocking” (PBS), and “Philadelphia Mississippi: A Short Film About Marty Stuart.”
Private Violence Partners
The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, A Call to Men, Lt. Mark Wynn, Chicana Service Action Center, Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, Leslie Morgan Steiner, Futures Without Violence and The Southern Documentary Fund
Private Violence Supporters
The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, The Kind World Foundation, Joan Waitt, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Jim and Sue Bernstein, Wide Waters Foundation, Doris Buffett, Office Max, Bryant Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, Bonnie Schaefer, Fund for Investigative Journalism, The Sunshine Lady Foundation, The North Carolina Foundation for Rural Health, The California Endowment, Putnam Trust, The Geiger Family, B&B Foundation, Turpin Family Charitable Foundation, Alexander and Adelaide Hixon Fund, Pasadena Foundation, Benson K & Mary F. Whitney, The Triangle Community Foundation, and numerous individual donors.