Art as Advocacy

Stop the Silence: Art as Advocacy Academic- and Community-Based CSA Prevention/Mitigation and Training Programming, November, 2015

Stop the Silence has now packaged all the work that it has done over the years – in awareness, education, outreach, and training – and developed and uses an Art as Advocacy Program with film, theatre, music, and books to introduce and forward a movement to prevent and mitigate child sexual abuse (CSA) through localized activities (“think global, act local”), primarily universities, while also providing training nationally and internationally. The programs have been vetted and evaluated in a number of venues over the past few years and has been shown to greatly increase awareness, knowledge, and intent to act.

The use of plays and the after-show presentations/discussions have been tested and shown to do just this by tapping into the audience’s emotional after the play or film, readying them to receive and process information. The Art as Advocacy program has been provided in the UK and in the U.S. and elsewhere during an evaluative phase when Stop the Silence took the Scottish-born play To Kill A Kelpie, written by Matthew McVarish, on tour in 2011 and then to Off-Broadway in 2012. Currently, Michael Broussard, the writer, director, producer and actor in the interactive one-man show Ask a Sex Abuse Survivor brings our information forward in collaboration with us.

The Director, Edward M. Smith made “Kelpie” into a film, and it and we have provided it, the after-show and evaluated it since the fall of 2012, first at Cornell, Emory, Indiana, and George Washington Universities, and then in 2013 and 2014 at the University of Maryland, at Bethany College, WV, and elsewhere. We also use the films: Lost Sparrow by Chris Billing, which helps underscore the cultural divides possible in CSA; Devil in the Doorway by Chase Tarca that has a university-age audience at heart; and Flesh, which highlights human trafficking. Additionally, we use the book Father Figure by Sumi Mukherjee and the professionally-rendered music video Struck by Lightning by Tamora Pellikka, written by Amy Pine. We often bring a survivor speaker and always have a local expert panel to address audience immediate and later issues and needs.

The full Stop the Silence Art as Advocacy program “package” involves the establishment of on-going academic- and community-based programming through formal university- or college-based clubs that are encouraged through the use of the “hook” of a screening of a relevant film and the after-show presentation and discussion designed by Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder and CEO of Stop the Silence. Then, with and through outreach to universities and local non-profit and other groups, we raise awareness about CSA and its relation to other interpersonal violence, and educate in the vicinity of each showing. We collaborate with others for the training of service providers in the community surrounding the schools.

Dr. Pine and others are available to individual classrooms for tailored lectures (using other, shorter works) to enhance the art-as-advocacy/education aspects of the program. The overall program also uses a unique computer-based Benefits Visualization model that provides the means to keep programs on track to deliver quantifiable social and economic goals. Programming is interactive, contextual, scalable, and relevant to systems strengthening. Contact Pam for any of the programming at pamelajpine@gmail.com.

The overall program integrates arts and culture with public health information and programming in order to move forward a highly innovative awareness, education, training and community-building and public health prevention/mitigation effort while maintaining highest standards of artistic merit.

We believe in the power of community and art. You can make a difference in stopping child sexual abuse! Watch the video about Stop the Silence Arts as Advocacy from this link: http://bit.ly/1Hmikw2

Say something! Watch this Stop the Silence video to learn the importance of speaking up about child sexual abuse: http://bit.ly/1XxUIIS

Contact: Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder and CEO, pamelajpine@gmail.com.

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