In the wake of the #MeToo Movement and the rise of a collective consciousness about the need for increased women’s rights, Dallas-based filmmaker Cheryl Allison explores the dynamic using our collective voices to create change, shape a conversation and allowing people to live and honor their truth in the ground-breaking documentary, Shatter the Silence.
Filmed in 2017 and 2018, Shatter the Silence is a moving film told by real Dallas area women, men who support women and through the lens of together we can change any inequity. Conversational in tone and accessibly non-threatening in voice, Shatter the Silence is highly recommended by Dallas Single Mom Publisher Teia Collier.
Not just for our daughters but also for our sons, Shatter the Silence uses personal story to open the door and shine the light on the continuing plague of sexual violence and the culture of shame, repression, protection and denial that continues to surround this issue. In the film, we meet women who let us take a glimpse into their lives and the power of sexual assault and the aftermath. Audiences have the gift of witnessing the strength and grace of the human spirit. Viewers also meet men who powerfully stand up as leaders in their communities and provide examples for how to successfully address this subject that delivers a suffocating silence for so many. We have the privilege of hearing their voices, their stories and seeing how we they have built their lives in the midst and despite being touched directly or indirectly by these horrific experiences.
We meet Reverend Yvette Blair-Lavallais and witness her rise to rebuild, grow and channel for good her experiences of unwanted touch in the Church and her pursuit of justice, balance and being heard, acknowledged and valued in a powerful patriarchy.
We meet Representative Victoria Neave leading the legislative fight bring awareness and justice to the victims of sexual violence in Texas, to test rape kits and honor the experiences and the lives of the women and men impacted by this uniquely personal trauma.
We meet Senator Wendy Davis striving to bring parity and encourage young women to continue to step up, stand forward and use not only their words, but also their deeds to serve as a catalyst to the changes that we are seeking.
We meet English teacher Shannon Howard and the students of North Mesquite High School that passionately created SAFT and Hurt Voices, two means to educate, encourage and teach teens at there is a better way, to end the shame and stigma that sexual violence and harassment leave with the victim and the destructive precedent that it sets for the predator.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Director Allison, Rev.
Blair-Lavallais and Rep. Neave about their personal take-aways from the film and what they hoped audiences would leave the theatres with. A resounding sentiment rose from their stories that is summed up in “You matter, Your Experiences matter and are not trivial. You can make a difference — either by sharing your story, becoming an advocate, taking a part in the conversation, honoring your truth and shattering the silence that has kept generations of victims hostage to their experiences.”
Premiering on April 28 at the USA Film Festival, Shatter the Silence is a film by Cheryl Allison.