Battered but Not Broken

Who wants to spend a Saturday night watching a play about domestic violence? Ugh. Depressing. Not even me, and I’m working on a project about it. But see, that’s where I got trapped. “Skins I Have Worn” is not ABOUT domestic violence.

slavery-1-458859483It’s similar to the way “Roots” is not just about slavery, and “Schindler’s List” is not just about the holocaust. Those compelling films used those horrific circumstances not just to raise our awareness about those times, but more importantly, because they so brilliantly demonstrate the power of the human spirit to overcome such great obstacles.

I woke up this morning realizing that this was what I’d been struggling with for weeks as I tried to find the words to explain this project. The reality is that no one wants to go on a date night and get depressed. Imagine calling up your partner and saying, “Hey honey, there’s this great play out there – it’s about domestic violence. Want to go check it out?” I don’t think so. But I also didn’t want to lie and pretend that we were not talking about abuse.

But here’s the thing. Yes, we are talking about a specific circumstance: domestic violence. There are stories and poems in this piece that are disturbing and painful. But, more importantly, this piece is about the struggle of ordinary women to overcome harsh circumstances. It is about the inner fortitude they discover, the courage they find to crawl out of the depths of their despair into hope and healing.

“Skins I Have Worn” is about the ugly battle fought against violence, cruelty, ignorance, fear, hate. This battle is waged, not with guns and knives, but with love, forgiveness, community, art. It is fought one teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy step at a time…. And it is fought by bringing it out of the shadows and into the light.

640px-Women_cheer_Barack_Obama_in_Dublin,_IrelandSo yes! I would go to a play like that. I would sit through the heartbreak of the women’s journey, witness their pain. Because at the end I would get to rejoice that some come through to the other side. I would get to cheer that some of these women emerge from their battle, battered but not broken, choosing hope over despair. And I would come to my feet to shout as these ordinary women, these heroines, stand up tall and strong to say “No more. Enough.  No more.”

That is what Skins I Have Worn is about!

If this project speaks to you and you’d like to donate to the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, please click HERE  today.  Thank you.

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At 5:30 am this Sunday morning as I wrote this blog, another thought came to me: we have outlawed slavery and we have denounced genocide. So, why is it, that that in 2015, in this free United States of America, the following statistics still exist:

  • The American Medical Association (AMA) and FBI estimate 3-4 million women are battered each year in the U.S.
  • Domestic Violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women.
  • The FBI estimates violence will occur during the course of two-thirds of all marriages.

And what the hell are we doing to change that …. ?

 

“Skins I Have Worn” opens October 2 – 4 at the Electric Lodge Theater in Venice.  Dragging it in the light!

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