2013, 81 minutes, color, U.S.A.
The most common question asked of domestic violence victims is, “Why didn’t you leave?” Private Violence introduces us to two women whose stories illustrate the complexities and problems inherent in that question and encourages us to reevaluate the discourse about domestic violence.
Kit Gruelle, a domestic violence survivor, has been an advocate for battered women for more than 25 years. We are privy to her educational sessions with police, consultations with experts in the medical and legal fields, and—most critically—her work with individuals, in particular Deanna. A young mother, Deanna miraculously survived kidnapping and brutal beatings by her ex-husband. When Deanna’s case goes to federal court, the stakes are raised as she and Kit battle to reunite her with her daughter, keep her abuser behind bars, and help her regain her dignity.
Shot with skill and immediacy, Private Violence is rooted in the extraordinary courage of Kit and Deanna, who shed light on the cycles of abuse and the shortcomings of law enforcement and the justice system. In the process, they represent hope, empowerment, and the possibility of change.
Director: Cynthia Hill
Cinematographer: Rex Miller
Editor: Tom Vickers
Composer: Chuck Johnson
Special Advisor: Kit Gruelle
Associate Producers: Malinda Maynor Lowery, Un Kyong Ho, Jennifer Cromling
Executive Producers: Cindy Waitt, Gloria Steinem, Regina K. Scully, Julie Benello, Wendy Ettinger, Judith Helfand