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Breaking the silence on domestic violence

Film bears witness to subtlety of domestic violence; Silent Witness began the evening

Silhouettes of women lined the entrance corridor of Eastwood's Palace Theater Thursday night Oct. 5. Each told a simple story. Silent witnesses. Each woman murdered by a significant other. It would be hard to classify this other as lover, but that is often the case. A life snuffed out. Families left behind shocked and shattered. Skaneateles' late Jill Cahill's silhouette was the last in this line displayed that evening.

The Palace hosted the film, " Don't Tell Me You Love Me," as October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The evening included Vera House's Silent Witness and Art of Caring Projects, the film and a panel discussion with proceeds going to Vera House.

According to Vera House Police responded to 900 domestic violence calls in the city of Syracuse in 2005. An additional, 400 calls were made in the surrounding suburbs.

"Don't Tell Me You Love Me"

This film screening was attended by its creator Thato Rantao Mwosa, who garnered the coveted "Best Emerging Film Maker" award at the 2005 Roxbury Film Festival in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition Marcellus native Bret Moses, the director of photography and the editor, was in attendance.

Both joined the panel for discussion after the screening, which also included Arethea Brown a Vera House advocate, poet and survivor Evie Ayers-Marsh, immigration law specialist Ramon Rivera, Esq. of Mackenzie, Hughes LLP and moderator Dr. James Duah-Agyeman, Director of Syracuse University's Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Duah-Agyeman opened with his remembrances of his father abusing his mother for many years and what that was like to witness as a child. The film opened with a couple walking down a hospital hall. Blood trickles from a wound on her forehead. The movie is centered around a poem, "Don't Tell Me You Love Me." It portrays a familiar, yet confusing story with actions, words and emotions not lining up. It is subtle, based on a true story.

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