Telling Stories of Women’s Suffering Through Film

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With a focus on women’s safety and health, the U is sponsoring multiple events to facilitate training, awareness and conversations surrounding these issues as part of Women’s Week, an annual occurrence at the University of Utah taking place March 6-10.

These events will include screenings of two films, hosted by the College of Social Work, featuring different experiences women may encounter; domestic violence and post-partum depression.

“Private Violence” illuminates the chilling notion that the most dangerous place for a woman can be in her own home. Domestic violence is something that happens where no one else can see it, making it largely invisible to the wider world. “Private Violence,” tells the stories of two survivors of domestic violence in an effort to combat that invisibility.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in four women will be victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes. Featuring Deanna Walters and Kit Gruelle, the film focuses on the misleading assumptions, biases and difficulties these women encountered in seeking justice as well as their future work as advocates. “Private Violence” examines the inner workings of domestic violence, ultimately posing the question, “How do we create a world with no domestic violence?”

The film will be followed by a presentation from filmmaker Kit Gruelle, as well as a panel discussion, on Tuesday, March 7 from 4-7 p.m. in the Okazaki Community Meeting Room (155-A) of the College of Social Work on campus. “Private Violence” contains graphic and disturbing images. Viewer discretion is advised.

Highlighting the difficulties surrounding post-partum depression,“Dark Side of the Full Moon” focuses on the attitude and quality of care given to women experiencing post-partum depression, by the medical field and society. The film calls for a degree of accountability and helps the many women suffering in silence.

“Students should come to this event to learn more about postpartum depression, its prevalence and consequences, and what can be done to effectively treat and screen for the disorder,” said Liz Conradt, an assistant professor in the department of Psychology.

Perinatal, or post-partum, depression is the most common “complication” that occurs with childbirth. But it is not tested for as often or given the attention other more common complications, such as gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia, are.

“This film was chosen [to be screened on campus] to shed light on this important public health problem,” said Conradt.

Following a screening of the film, speakers Amy-Rose White and Dr. Ilse Dekoeyer-Laros will discuss the importance and unique challenges of women’s mental health during pregnancy and after, in addition to information on current research being conducted on such issues at the U. Screening and panel will take place Wednesday, March 8 from 4-7 p.m. in the Okazaki Community Meeting Room.

Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information on postpartum depression and resources for treatment in Utah visit http://www.utahmmhc.org/.

For more information on “Private Violence” visit http://www.privateviolence.com/.

l.randall@dailyutahchronicle.com

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