Archive for Case Studies

  • March 5, 2010
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Documentary Objective

The core objective of a social justice documentary is not a distribution deal, money, or notoriety. The objective is your audience. Does the audience engage, learn and grow with your characters so that they are ready to make a difference when the lights come up? As a filmmaker, how can you ensure that your story makes a difference in the life of an audience member, who will then influence their own community?


Even before crafting the fundraising strategy for the documentary Sin By Silence, the Quiet Little Place team developed one crucial objective - we must inspire our audience to DO Something! The completion of the film, and the structure of an ongoing campaign, was continually influenced by this core objective. Every time we discussed campaign possibilities, or the film's outreach, we were able to simplify the process by asking ourselves - does this help inspire our audience to do something? Future decisions then became simple.

In order to engage the audience throughout the film, and inspire them to make a difference after viewing, we had to be aware of our audience's first perceptions. Where were they coming from? What would be the stereotypes that we would have to break down in order to inspire the need for change? To begin to articulate this cultural environment, we created a bullet point list to analyze the world we were trying to change. What exactly did a world filled with the tragedies of domestic violence look like?


  • Every nine seconds a woman is abused.
  • One in three women experience some type of personal violence such as rape, domestic violence, or stalking.
  • Intimate partners have assaulted approximately 1.5 million women each year in the USA.
  • Shelters are at capacity throughout the country.
  • Thinking that domestic violence is a private family matter is an outdated belief.
  • Women are frequently embarrassed or ashamed to speak about violence experienced in their homes.
  • Women lack resources and support systems for escaping domestic violence situations safely.
  • Law enforcement, social service personnel and clergy generally lack in-depth training regarding the dynamics and trajectory of violent relationships.
  • The public needs to be educated about the far-reaching effects of domestic violence.
  • Occurrence rates will decrease as more people are educated and become advocates against domestic violence.


It is impossible to engage an audience with cold hard facts. The biggest challenge became informing the audience, while universally connecting them to the issue - feed their heads, as well as their hearts. The QLP team knew that the best way to connect our audience to the subject was through transference. The powerful stories of the women that had experienced horrific violence, the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse, could be any one of us. These women, who are the true experts on the topic of domestic violence, provide the reality of abusive relationships. They are everyday women that did not experience something that only happens to certain people. The statistics show that domestic violence happens more than we care to admit or realize. This became our key element and focus...this could happen to you! When watching the film, audience members put themselves in the shoes of women with whom they would never normally relate - women in prison for 15 years to life.


As audience members begin to connect to the women's journeys, they become overwhelmed with the need to do something. So, the QLP team created actionable ways for an audience to engage so that no one left the film empty-handed. Creating these action steps to engage can be difficult, especially when dealing with a difficult topic like domestic violence. Domestic violence is a massive cultural problem fraught with state and federal legality issues. Just inspiring our audience to just do something about the issue of domestic violence was too broad. We decided that we needed to develop our audience into "stewards of change" by starting simple.


In the editing room of Sin By Silence, as we crafted the story, we also developed the idea of working with our audience to become stewards of change. Once you become aware of the problem by watching the film, we wanted to inspire our audience to take on domestic violence as "their issue." As a part of this strategy session, we developed three points to develop these stewards -- connect, engage, influence.

First, audience members needed to take the first step, something simple, like just watching the film. This initial connection helps them understand that they need to do more to help the very prevalent issue of domestic violence. Secondly, it was important to create opportunities to engage with local organizations to volunteer and help with local initiatives in the audience member's own community. Thirdly, we wanted our stewards of change to influence others to join them, to do something to help change the tragedy of domestic violence.


  • March 4, 2010
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Impact Assessment

Many films measure their success by box office numbers, while social issue documentary films must measure impact by their ability to create social change. With the box offices focusing on dollars and cents, how do you grasp the seemingly immeasurable impact of social change?

By tallying the number of web hits, screenings, attendance, social engagement and DVD sales, a picture of the film's impact begins to emerge. Hitting big numbers can seem like big impact, but it really doesn't matter unless you are building audience investment into the cause. Your viewers are a treasure trove of change that are capable of things beyond even your own hopes for your film. You just have to create the strategy to light the spark.



Con·nect: to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind

In order to connect to the audience, a film must have a strong story experience and meld it with the immediate need to do something. Sin by Silence utilizes the personal stories of the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse as a universal connection to the notion that these women represent every woman. They could be your grandmother, your mother...or even you! To achieve such an emotional response, we had to reach beyond festival screenings and develop more advocacy oriented screenings through a grassroots tour that would connect the film directly with local communities. This is the first step to connecting with the viewer on a more intimate level that then empowers them with the need to do more.

ConnectGraph3Discover more about how we created connections by viewing...

Film Festival Strategy
Community Outreach
What's Your Red Flag?


En·gage: to occupy the attention or efforts; entangle or involve

Engagement begins when the lights come back up at a screening event. A small and simple opportunity must be given to the viewer to take the first step towards involvement in the cause. To begin this phase, we start with the simple availability of postcards to take home and write to the women of CWAA. This step wasn't scary or disheartening. It was something everyone could do. Write a letter of support. Of Love. Of encouragement. Once an audience member receives a letter back from the women in CWAA, many will feel compelled to do more to help a real person that represents thousands of others.

To continue engagement after a screening, we encourage audience members to stay connected and share their own stories on the film's website, Facebook, Twitter and Network. Using social media, to develop a portal of vital information, requires utilizing the right tools for specific demographics that will transform our audience members from simple viewers into advocates.

AssessGraphDiscover more about Sin By Silence's strategy of engagement by viewing...

Postcards to the Edge
Audience Investment
Inbox Connections
DVD Strategy


In·flu·ence: to exercise influence on; affect, sway, to move or impel (a person) to some action

The QLP team has a life-changing task ahead of us as we enter into our last phase of inciting further action. The crisis of domestic violence is unfortunately not going to go away. While the unbearable heartbreak happens behind closed doors, there is an opportunity to still shine a light. We are excited to continue changing hearts and minds so that the statistics of domestic violence will begin to decrease and communities will realize that the keys to that success lies in their own hands. Sin by Silence has come a long way, but there is so much more to do. When we act, lives will change, women’s roles will transform, and the next generation will be different.

Discover more about how we are starting to influence by viewing...

Strategic Partnerships
Legislative Action
Action Kits

  • March 3, 2010
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Film Festival Strategy

The film festival environment has changed! What used to be a huge platform for independent films, is now bringing fewer picture "deals" and even less of an opportunity to connect with an audience. Of course getting into Sundance is a great accomplishment, but when a filmmaker's focus is only on top tier festivals it can be detrimental to the message of the film.

Choosing the festival circuit in which a film will play should not be determined solely by chance or acceptance, but by a strategic path for exposure and credibility that generates buzz and potential outreach partners. The QLP team created a different strategy that opted for a grassroots approach, in order to maximize the message of Sin by Silence.


Screen Sin by Silence in smaller and regional festivals that can garner larger audiences and create communities of support that prove to be more valuable to the film and campaign.


  1. Identify festivals that mirror the message and activism of Sin by Silence - human rights, women's issues, community based, etc.
  2. Partner with each festival area's local domestic violence organizations to maximize exposure to a niche audience.
  3. Debut in a place that is meaningful, relevant and engaged in the topic.


Sin by Silence debuted at the Cleveland International Film Festival in 2009 to great success. In 1990, Ohio was the first state to grant clemency to 25 battered women convicted of killing their abusive husbands and became the catalyst for the movement the Convicted Women Against Abuse group started in California. So, it was only fitting that the Sin by Silence campaign start in the state that brought our movement and message to life. Having our debut at this mid-tiered festival with meaning, gave the film more press opportunities than might be available at larger festivals.

Our next step on the film festival route was another strategic opportunity, at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival, on the night Governor Schwarzenegger was to sign the state's budget. The QLP team joined protesters and advocates to help ensure that the message of domestic violence agencies funding was vital to the state of California. Even though the next day the Governor vetoed the budget, we knew we had an impact with our efforts by being receiving the Audience Award for Best Documentary.



  • Sacramento Film and Music Festival, Audience Award for Best Documentary
  • Cleveland International Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Film/2nd Runner-Up
  • United Nations Association Film Festival
  • Starz Denver International Film Festival
  • Female Eye Film Festival
  • Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
  • Women of Color Film Festival


  • San Francisco International Documentary Festival
  • Portland Women's Film Festival
  • Women's Film Festival


  • March 2, 2010
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  • Comments Off on Community Outreach Tour
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Community Outreach Tour

A grassroots movement starts with a call for change from everyday people challenging an imperfect world. The civil right's movement and women’s right to vote both started with concerned citizens organizing and taking a stand. The fight against domestic abuse started small, but is currently addressed through government programs and private institutions instead of grassroots engagement. So, how could a film step in to help create momentum?

With Sin by Silence, we knew creating a film wasn't enough. Our vision was to help inspire individuals truly understand what's at stake - by connecting real stories, about real women, to the tragedy of domestic violence. To achieve this, we needed to take the film directly into communities who needed to hear the message and create change by leveraging the passions and power of PEOPLE.


Develop a grassroots campaign to screen the film in the top 10 states with the worst domestic violence statistics in order to...

  1. Create awareness and conversations about the silent tragedy of domestic violence.
  2. Build connections and mobilize passionate individuals who have interest in getting involved in the domestic abuse prevention movement with local resources for continued involvement.
  3. Educate communities about the urgency of involvement in the issues and lives affected in order to create prevention and help shape realistic change.
  4. Help influence others to join the movement.


To begin the process of developing the Stop the Violence tour we had to identify the state's with the worst domestic violence statistics. With ever worsening statistics, time was of the essence. By utilizing the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence statistic reports we were able to review statistics and formulate a plan resulting in the need to travel to Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Washington.


We connected with each state's domestic violence coalition to develop a plan of action in envisioning where a screening might best be utilized within their network. The QLP team was then able to identify and connect with various organizations, non-profits, universities and churches that would benefit from a screening of the film and discussion.


In order to maximize the effectiveness and reach of the film, it was important to schedule the tour around Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2009. By utilizing this timing, we were able to expand upon the outreach efforts already in place through community partners.





We helped create safe places for audience members to share their own personal stories of tragedy. We helped connect organizations with new advocates who were ready to join the cause and begin working together. We helped ignite change...

  • Petition to free Margaret Moore - a petition was signed at various screenings to help free one of the original CWAA memebers, and then current chairperson, with her campaign to freedom. Over 2000 signatures were collected and Margaret was released from prison on January 8, 2010 after spending 31 years behind bars.
  • Process to begin Convicted Women Against Abuse at Indianapolis women's prison is initiated after screening the film for inmates on October 22, 2009.
  • Ollie Johnson shared her testimony after film screens with organizations partner Free Battered Women in San Francisco. She was released from prison on 2008 after serving 22 years, and continues to search for a home and job. Ollie's life changed after the screening as one audience member offers her a place to live and help with finding a job.
  • Welcome Home Hampers - donation by NewportWomen of Newport Beach, CA for supplies (beauty products, clothing, necessities and giftcards) for the Convicted Women Against Abuse members when they are released from prison.
  • Stamp Drive - Girl Scout Troop of Ruidoso, NM starts a community wide donation drive to send mailing supplies and stamps to the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse.
  • Shelter Art Class - local artist starts a monthly art class for the children staying at the Family Violence Center shelter in Springfield, MO.
  • Family Portraits - local photographer donates time and supplies to take personal portraits for the families seeking safety at Lydia's House in St. Louis, MO.
  • Pro Bono Legal Services - 10 Berkeley Law students sign up with the Habeas Project to begin providing legal services for the women of Convicted Women Against Abuse.
  • Court Watch Group - the discussion after the film included one woman's plea for help through the legal case she was facing trying to protect her kids from abusive husband. As a result, The Center for Nonviolence of Fort Wayne, IN started a small action group to begin a court watch for the various local cases of violence against women and to keep judges and media accountable of what was happening in the local courtrooms.


"People were energized and excited about the possibilities of getting involved in raising awareness about domestic violence. Our community was inspired to take action."
- New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

"One could not attend this presentation and walk away feeling not profoundly impacted by the message."
- YWCA Lafayette, IN

"It uplifted all present to remember that there are those in our community who need help and understanding. It uplifted the empowerment and the hope of the women who attended, to remind them of how much power there is in solidarity. Even our own staff members were inspired."
- Center for NonViolence / Fort Wayne, IN

"Very powerful and dynamic presentation to help understand the ultimate consequence of domestic violence. All victims and batterers need to see this documentary!"
- Domestic Violence Council of Kern County

"It was one of the best educational presentations on domestic violence we had ever offered."
- YWCA Director / Topeka, Kansas

"For the first time, I saw that I could of ended up just like these women. I have been in an abusive relationship and finally learned so much about my own silence."
- Audience Member

"My daughter went with me and for the first time we talked about her father and the abuse we both endured. I have never been able to reconnect with her about our past and am so thankful that this event created that opportunity."
- Audience Member

  • March 1, 2010
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on What’s your Red Flag?
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What’s your Red Flag?

Newspapers were cluttered with headlines of the very public act of violence against Rihanna in 2009. Overnight, Rihanna's private nightmare became a public debate. "She deserved it." "She is trying to get attention." "She started it." These kinds of comments revealed a startling response to teen dating violence and the statistics prove it - 1 in 3 teens experience abuse, 2 out of 3 teens who experience abuse never report it.

With these pervasive comments and brutal statistics, the QLP team knew it was crucial to reach a younger generation with the message of Sin by Silence. By utilizing the stories of the CWAA women, who met their abusive partners in their teenage years, we were determined to help prevent a young generation of women from following in their footsteps. Helping youth understand the future impact on their present decisions, can help create steps toward making better decisions now for the quality of their relationships and independence.


While on the Stop the Violence tour, schedule events that take the message of Sin by Silence to the college age level. Build young knowledge to understand the violence that surrounds youth in their homes, in their relationships, and on their campuses. Build young action to start to making better decisions for their own personal safety.


  1. Utilize screening events on university and college campuses to inspire a younger generation to create change.
  2. Create a tangible reminder that helps each and every member of the audience connect the stories they see onscreen with their own relationships.




As the data shows, the Red Flag events were by far the most successful events on the Stop the Violence tour. The greatest amount of attendees. The greatest amount of connections. The greatest amount of impact in touching the lives of a younger generation. But, how would the impact be continued after the students went back to their dorm rooms? By creating red flags to remind them of the warning signs in potentially abusive relationships!

Thousands of red flags were passed out as students and community members walk into the screening. In the interactive discussion with students after screening the film, students were encouraged to write the warning sign on their red flag to remind them to be aware of their relationship boundaries.


Vanguard University of Southern California
September 2, 2009 - Costa Mesa, CA

"Sin by Silence grips every man and woman with the knowledge that this could happen in my own community. Then it takes the next step and the viewer understands that it IS happening on our own campus. We have to break the silence." - Center for Women's Studies

Attendance: 475

Panel Discussion Participants:

Denise Ballester- Executive Director, Nicole Brown Foundation
Dr. Elizabeth Leonard - Author of Convicted Survivors
Brenda Clubine - Founder of Convicted Women Against Abuse
Ann-Caryn Cleveland - Co-Producer/Editor
Olivia Klaus - Director/Producer

Impact of Event:

"Over four hundred and fifty, mostly students, packed in to to see Sin by Silence. The moderate roar turned to stunned silence once the video began. No one moved. The mood intensified as the team that brought it all together took their places on the Q&A Panel. The message was clear - our students need to be aware of the violence they will face in their relationships. The impact was made - many students are now volunteering at the local shelter that helped sponsor the event. The following morning there was a field of red flags, planted by students multiplying the message, being a voice, and making a difference."
- Sandie Morgan, Panel Discussion Moderator


"The Sin by Silence event brought life to an issue that is too often ignored. Our community and campus was moved and inspired because any of the women in the film could have been one of our students."
University of San Francisco, Gender, Sexuality & Women's Student Resource Center

"Sin by Silence has inspired my students to take action in our own community to ensure that survivors of domestic violence are not victimized by the criminal justice system."
Arizona State University, Women's Study Center

"Sin by Silence is a film that should be shown on every college campus. In less than an hour students learn about the signs of abuse, the long-term consequences of abuse, and that there is hope for a world free of abuse. By the end of the event, students realize this is an issue that matters to them."
Pacific Lutheran University, Sociology Department

"The response was simply amazing. From students who now feel "called" to work in this specific field, to women seeking help, to community members wanting to mobilize. I think the ripples from the film and Brenda's dynamic and moving presentation will be felt for some time."
Evangel University, Sociology Department


  • February 28, 2010
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Postcards to the Edge

Breaking the imaginary 'fourth wall' and bringing an audience inside your film is one of the most difficult tasks of filmmaking. Audiences are inherently used to the passive action of watching a film. Yet, for social justice documentaries it is crucial to break down the barrier that separates a personal connection to the action in the story. So, how do you connect an audience with women behind prison walls? How do you turn the message of a film into activism?

One of the goals of our outreach tour was to create avenues for the Sin by Silence characters to engage with the audiences beyond the screen. Their stories are real. Their pain is real. They are real. We found one simple way to break down the imaginary and physical walls of the film and prison in order to connect inmates with people in the "free world"...by creating postcards.


To help the audience realize what they have witnessed onscreen is a tangible, ongoing struggle and engage them further in the cause.


  1. Create pre-addressed postcards for audience members to take home as a reminder to get involved in the issues of domestic violence.
  2. Provide audience members an tangible to the women of Sin by Silence and encourage them in their struggles while in prison.
  3. Encourage a pen-pal system that would help the women of Sin by Silence feel connected to the people that are inspired by their stories.



The postcards became an immediate success! A series of 14,000 postcards in total, one for the group and one of each of the women featured in the film, had to be printed to meet demand while on tour. Many people took multiple cards - one as a keepsake and reminder, the other to send a note of encouragement. To date, each of the women have received 1000's of postcards from people all over the country encouraging them to not give up, thanking them for sharing their story, and confiding in them their own personal stories of abuse.



  • February 27, 2010
  • By admin
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Audience Investment

Connecting is easy. Maintaining a connection is hard. It's not enough to have an audience simply watch Sin by Silence. We want our audience to be affected by its message and become stewards of change - those who take up the flag of the cause and help influence others to create positive social change. The film is the first connection. The next steps needed to further the audience's engagement in the issue by developing support groups and community engagement initiatives that continue long after the film has ended.


Continue the connection made with the audience from the screening to leverage positive change and encourage others to take up the cause.


  1. Use the Sin by Silence website as a portal for resources, connections, latest news and information.
  2. Use social media outlets distinctively, utilizing what each does best.
  3. Create a sense of intimacy, engagement and friendship, despite the numbers.
  4. Create action-oriented objectives and engagement through story.
  5. Listen to our audience's needs and continue to learn how we can help them engage at a deeper level.


We wanted to take SinBySilence.com beyond a typical website about the film. We wanted to create a portal for change. A two-way connection for the audience to learn the latest news about the film, connect with resources and organizations, and gain support for their own efforts.

Audience members from a screening can often be diverse with specialized expertise - nurses, lawyers, social workers, educators, students, advocates, and more. How do you help different fields work together to exact a positive change through social networking? Gina Bianchini, a Silicon Valley CEO and fellow advocate, created Ning as a place to create your own social network site. She also helped guide Sin By Silence to create our own online network, utilizing Ning, around specific campaigns connected to the "Get Involved" section of the Sin By Silence website. We were able to choose the features, and member driven content, designed for our stewards of change.

To date, we have a close-knit community of almost 300 members and see this as an important place to listen and engage in a deeper way with the challenges and issues of campaigning against domestic violence. Our next steps include expanding the network to include support materials to help University students working to Stop the Violence with best practices for utilizing Sin By Silence in their own activities and communities on campus.

With more than 400 million active users worldwide, Facebook has become known as the most popular social network website. With half of those users logging in everyday, Facebook has been the most popular way to get our audience engaged with content. There are several important things we discovered engaging our audience on the Sin by Silence Fanpage:

1) Facebook is the easiest engagement tool to track interaction. Insights reveal information about fanbase demographics, how often people responded positively to your posts, how many times people watched the media attached to your fan page, and the kind of data needed to create a successful campaign.

2) Our fan base went up nearly 300% during our community outreach tour, averaging 20 new fans per event.

3) Our Facebook fans are most interested in "emotional" content, not informational content, averaging 12 interactions per post.


Twitter is one of the fastest growing web application to date. A real-time information network powered by people from all around the world that allows you to share and discover what's happening in less than 140 characters. There are quite a few twitter statistic tools out there that aim to analyze "your influence." This is what we discovered:

1) Twitter creates a new informational avenue to engage a community.

2) We found that our audience was primarily interested in being connected with direct and reliable information through URL links. We average 150 clicks per week from our posted links.


LinkedIn Groups is a great place to find and join communities of professionals that are actively engaged in the fight against domestic violence. Our strategy with LinkedIn Groups was not to create yet another online Sin By Silence branded social networking group, but to listen to existing groups engaged in the fight against intimate partner violence. Social Media strategy cannot just be about funneling information and creating a channel for others to listen to. It is a place to have meaningful conversations and build relationships that you may not otherwise have had the connection to. We found Linked In groups to be a great place to gauge needs within specific professional communities. Utilizing these groups can sometimes reveal a lot of "noise," but there are also informed discussions, the sharing of resources and invaluable global perspectives. Engaging in these groups as a member and contributor, allowed us to listen and offer links and solutions that brought professionals back to Sin By Silence that would not have previously been connected to the film.

If you would like the latest information about Sin By Silence's online campaigns, check out our network, become a fan or follow us!

  • February 26, 2010
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Inbox Connections
  • in Case Studies

Inbox Connections

You've crafted a compelling message carefully choosing each word to elicit the right emotions. You've spent countless hours collecting the right data, resources, and know what information matters most to your audience. Now what?

Ten years ago very few people had email addresses. Today, everyone has one! So, the QLP team jumped at the opportunity to stay connected with the Sin by Silence network directly through their inbox - go green by not printing and mailing countless newsletters, instantly share the latest news about the film and outreach, and connect a network to resources with just the click of a mouse.


Leverage an email campaign to stay connected, continue advocacy, and build stronger relationships with our members, fans, audiences, advocates and donors.


  1. Build database through online sign-up, screening events, DVD sales, etc.
  2. Send monthly newsletter, recent campaign strategies and news updates.


The Sin by Silence email newsletter has skyrocketed with subscriptions and activity! We've been able to directly stay connected with our audience, while also directly connecting them to ways they can be more involved.

The data shows us that people are reading the emails, readers are forwarding on to friends and everyone is staying connected!



Love. A simple word. A complexity of emotions. These feelings are heightened during the month of February, which is also Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. But, for countless women, Valentine's will be just another day lived in fear of a partner. So, the QLP team decided to focus on love in a new way. A positive way. To help empower people by letting them know they are loved. Woman to woman, mother to daughter, friend to friend...letting someone know that you care can make a huge difference.


Click here to view the ecard.
Click here to see the video.
Click here to view the discussion.

We've had great response from our network from just this newsletter alone:

  • 1160 emails were released
  • 196 people forwarded the email
  • 1356 emails were read
  • 107 people received ecards
  • 42 more Facebook fans were created
  • 225 YouTube views


DVD Strategy

A film simply cannot answer every question before the credits start to roll. If it did, the audience would have to sit through 12 hours and be demanding an intermission. We knew with the complex issues brought up in Sin by Silence that our audience would have questions - from the legal plight of convicted survivors, to the multiple dimensions of abusive relationships. But, we couldn't throw in the kitchen sink and still edit a compelling story. So, that's where the DVD came in to save the day!


Create two versions of the Sin by Silence DVD to help facilitate use of the film in homes, shelters, advocacy groups and classrooms. After all, the longevity of the message of a film is in the hands of a DVD being passed from friend to friend.


  1. Home DVD version through Sin by Silence website and screening events
  2. Educational DVD version through Women Make Movies


Closed captioned to reach deaf communities - check!
Spanish subtitled to reach Spanish speaking communities - check!
Bonus videos to encourage discussions on the issues brought up in the film - check!

We knew the power of the Sin by Silence DVD was in our viewers hands. Hands that pass the film onto a friend, hands that give the DVD to someone you think might need help in their own relationship. But, our viewers would want to know more. So, we turned the concept of bonus videos into advocacy videos that would further understanding and involvement in the plight of incarcerated survivors, as well as the issues of domestic violence.


  1. What’s a CWAA meeting like?: CWAA meetings and members discuss various aspects of their abusive relationships
  2. What’s prison like?: Joanne and LaVelma take viewers on a tour to get to know the California Institution for Women
  3. What happened to Joey?: Behind the scenes story and footage of this mother and son reuniting after Brenda's release from prison
  4. What can I do to help Glenda?: Expert witness, Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd, and legal expert, Michael Brennan, break down the process of parole in California and describe the obstacles incarcerated survivors face in their journey to freedom
  5. Can I hear more from Rosemary?: Full clip of Rosemary's 'confessional' from the film
  6. Can I hear more from Virgil?: Full clip of Virgil's 'confessional' from the film

For our university screenings we really wanted to make the DVD a tool for students to take home and share with their friends to help continue the vital conversations that could save lives. By selling the DVD for half price, we were able to sell more while also maximizing effectiveness by encouraging students to give the DVD to a friend that couldn’t attend the event.
*Raised average event sales by 250%

Exclusive offer for fans of Sin by Silence on Facebook, Twitter, as well as our email newsletter list were able to take purchase the DVD and receive one free DVD and special holiday card to give as a gift to a friend, during the month of December.
*Raised average monthly sales by 300%

Continual offer since December 2009, to be able to purchase the Sin by Silence DVD, and for $10 more purchase a second DVD to give to a friend.
*Raised average monthly sales by 10%


The Sin by Silence educational DVD version is distributed by Women Make Movies and has soared to be one of their best-selling films. Top domestic violence experts have raved the DVD to be an essential educational resource on domestic violence.

"Sin by Silence offers resources I try to include in every speech, training, or discussion with a policy maker."
Debby Tucker - Executive Director, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

"Sin by Silence provides cutting-edge videos to help advocates achieve social action."
Alyce LaViolette - Founder, Alternatives to Violence

We had a vision to create videos, for the teaching environment, that could further spark and continue discussion brought up after watching the film. By creating more than two hours of additional video content, we were able to include interviews with experts on abusive relationships, law enforcement leaders and leaders in faith-based communities about domestic violence, incarceration and more.


  1. Batterer's Group: An in-depth look into the Los Angeles County program Reach to Recovery led by James Beard and Lindsay Wagner. Through intimate interviews with a family and a couple, the viewer is able to experience the complexities of the whole dynamic of abusive relationships.
  2. Public Safety: Domestic violence can now no longer be viewed as a private issue. It always goes beyond closed doors and into the streets and homes of others. At age 18, Michele plead guilty to first degree murder. In 1987, her boyfriend Jose coerced her to be a part of an in house robbery that resulted in one woman dying. She felt forced to be a part of this horror or Jose threatened to kill her family. Viewers will hear an incredible story of abuse and crime from all of those it affected most. Kate lost her mother and the murder shattered her sense of security. Richard lost his wife and the mother of his children, yet still reaches out to Michele to forgive her.
  3. What is Abuse: Dr. Elizabeth Leonard and Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd provide an in-depth look into the various aspects and forms of abusive relationships.
  4. Warning Signs: The women of Sin by Silence share their personal stories of looking back on the warning signs in their own abusive relationships.
  5. Why She Stays: The women of Sin by Silence share the factors that caused them to feel like there way no way out of their abusive relationships. Includes perspectives from Dr. Elizabeth Leonard and Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd.
  6. Progression of Abuse: The women of Convicted Women Against Abuse describe the complexities of their own abusive relationships.
  7. 911 call: The entire 911 call from the film.
  8. CWAA Meetings: An in-depth look at Convicted Women Against Abuse meetings and 5 in-depth group discussions with members on various topics of their personal|experience with abuse.


  1. Staff Perspective of CIW: The California Institution for Women's Warden and Lieutenant give a behind the scenes look of California's oldest women's prison.
  2. Inmate Perspective of CIW: Take a tour of the California Institution for Women with some of the inmates at the California Institution for Women.
  3. Men vs Women Prisons: Dr. Barbara Bloom, along with the California Institution for Women Warden and Lieutenant, disect the drastic differences between men and women's prisons.
  4. Law Enforcement Response to DV: Learn about the progression of law enforcement protocol and evolution to the crisis of domestic violence with California law enforcement leaders and experts including Sheriff Baca of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Chief John Welter of Ananheim, CA, and Lt. Chris Sayers of the Anaheim Family Justice Center.


  1. Brenda Clubine’s Hearing: Take a look at the full hearing that brought Brenda Clubine to freedom.
  2. Juror’s Perspective: An in-depth perspective from Glenda Crosley's juror on the process and complications of the 1987 trial.
  3. Expert Witness: An in-depth perspective and explanation of the role of an expert witness on domestic violence homicide cases by Dr. Nancy Kaser-Boyd.


  1. Message to Shelter: Brenda Clubine personally encourages women on their road to independence from abusive relationships.
  2. Brenda & Joe: Behind the scenes story and footage of this mother and son reuniting after Brenda's release from prison.


  1. LaVelma Byrd: LaVelma killed her husband, a pastor and pillar in the community. She never spoke a word to her family, or church members, that her husband beat her on a regular basis. She had faith that her husband would change. LaVelma shares her experience of abuse in a Christian home and what we need to do to begin helping others that are in similar situations.
  2. Dr. George O Wood: General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God encourages churches to make sure their homes are safe and free of domestic violence.
  3. Rabbi Miriam Hamrel: Rabbi and leader of the Ahavat Torah Congregation encourages synagogues towards Tikun Olam – to fix the world from its wrong doings.
  4. Sister Terry Dodge: Director of Crossroads encourages Catholic communities to take a stand against violence against women.


  • February 24, 2010
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Action Kits
  • in Case Studies

Action Kits

The universal message of Sin by Silence is to stop the violence! Whether you volunteer at a shelter, donate, reach out to students or advocate for better policies – everyone has a role to play in combating the global pandemic of violence against women.

University students, community organizations, schools, shelters and friends all have very little time to create materials that further awareness and stimulate dialogue to create change in communities. By providing a down-loadable action kit to accompany the film, we were able to make advocacy and easier reality by hosting a Sin by Silence event.


Create awareness. Stimulate dialogue. Catalyze change within communities through an 'Action Kit’ that encourages audiences to host their own Sin by Silence event to help create longevity in our outreach beyond the initial community tour.


Provide step by step actions and materials for educational and non-profit organizations, we can help infuse the domestic violence movement to reach new levels in their community.

  1. Streamline the process on the Sin by Silence website for hosting own event.
  2. Have materials and handouts available for download.
  3. Create handouts that help promote further dialogue, understanding and strategic action steps for communities.


By creating our STOP THE VIOLENCE action kits we have transformed Sin by Silence into the perfect do-it-yourself tool for individuals and organizations to be stewards of change in their own communities. We have helped create safe places for audience members to share their own personal stories of tragedy. We have helped connect organizations with new advocates who are ready to join the cause and begin working together. We have helped university students take action in the fight against violence on their own campuses. We can help make a difference!


All the materials and handouts needed for a STOP THE VIOLENCE event can be viewed at http://www.sinbysilence.com/stoptheviolence


"I was amazed by how well the screening went, how many people were moved by the film, and how proud I was to be able to spread the message of wrongful and unjust incarceration of battered women. The culture of violence against women on campus has become normalized, and I see it everyday. My own commitment to stopping violence against women was reinvigorated when I watched the film, and some of the stories stay with me constantly. The toolkit that Sin by Silence put together was extremely helpful. Even though I organized the event without any prior knowledge about how to put on a public screening, I felt extremely prepared and well equipped because of the toolkit. Thank you so, so much for making such an incredible film, and for making public screenings so easy! I hope that this film can continue to spread its message and that women and men become more educated about this issue."
Cornell University, student Emma Schain

"I was very impressed by the number of people who attended the event. This is by far the best resource that I have seen that touches on this issue. I was able to tie the film to other projects at the school that look at issues such as female empowerment in society and issues of female incarceration."
Purdue University

"I am very grateful for all that your team is doing to help people like me who want to spread the word. I didn't know where to begin until I saw all your templates. For me, this even was the first step in bringing awareness to my campus. The first of many."
Chaffey College