Sister of Silence: 10 Reasons to Back the Video

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Our $5,000 project request has received four-percent of its backing, and we’re at the halfway mark: tomorrow will leave us just 15 days to fund the Sister of Silence book video. It may seem an overly ambitious goal, but I think it’s entirely possible we will reach it by the March first deadline. Which probably sounds crazy to you—so why do I say that?
Well, the start has been slow, thanks in large part to my unexpected illness. But hopefully I’m on the mend now, and the monetary pendulum will begin swinging faster and higher. Had I not been ill at the outset of this project, I would have introduced our group and given you a better look into what we’re doing.
We’re a small group of five, including two students at opposite ends of West Virginia who attend rival universities. There’s West Virginia University Senior Sarah Lemanski, a budding-but-brilliant actor; Marshall University Sophomore Nick Adkins, a computer genius; Max Gould, a Morgantown High School senior on his way to a serial killer career in theatre, Zachary Martin, an adorable baby boy with no previous acting experience who outshines us all, and me, a new author with 20 years of journalism experience.
Lemanski and Gould gave up holiday time with family because they believe in this project, and Adkins has already spent more than 40 hours editing it. Your money goes to pay the actors and videographer a fair wage, and will hopefully offset production costs. (I won’t receive a wage, as my involvement is totally voluntary.)
A sidebar about the actual costs for such a product: If Amazon produced this video, it would cost at least $10,000 and would only use still photographs—not live actors, like this project does. This estimate is realistically based on the following: CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing arm) charges $2,199 for a 60-second video that only uses still shots. Our video will be 180-seconds and features live actors who perform! That’s why we call it a book video, rather than a book slideshow.
Your donation for this project comes with a free SOS e-book, SOS t-shirt (the book cover on front, the words “Silent No More” on the back) and/or your name in the end credits. Thank you for helping us make this a reality—and in helping save other children from becoming victims like those at Penn State and elsewhere!!!
Here’s the top 10 reasons you should want to help us fund this project:
1) To help save other women like Whitney Houston;
2) Because some women apparently just don’t get it (like those who tweeted it’s okay if Chris Brown punched them like he did Rihanna;
3) You’ve been assaulted or abused (or know someone who has);
4) You realize it wasn’t the Grammys that got a black eye: it was Rihanna;
5) You were or are a pregnant teen or are now a single parent;
6) Your money will go not just to help fund a great cause, but great art—and student art, at that;
7) Giving always feels better than receiving. But by giving, you also get something: a free ebook, t-shirt and/or your name on the end credits, making this a win-win;
8) I won’t be featured at all in the video at all—for which you can breathe a sigh of relief—since the fundraising pitch shows my acting days are long behind me;
9) Any money I had put aside for this project is now paying for my considerable medical bills, since I’ve been uninsured since 2008, and;
10) You’ve received one of the hundreds of free copies of SOS I’ve given away (including shipping and handling), which has a $30 value.
And besides, if Stanford, Harvard and Yale folks have so much to give to their students, surely you can spare $10 for our little video project. Right?
Just a few words about Rihanna, Houston and cash cow/woman beater Brown. Houston had the greatest voice—and it frustrates me beyond belief that so many unbelievably gifted women like her continue to abuse themselves, along after their abuser stops. This video project seeks to teach them how to stop doing that.
Second, people are fed up with the status quo when it comes to violence against women. Our video project doesn’t seek to sweep anything under the rug, as Yashar accused Brown of doing: “In fact, he has done what millions of men and women do every day in our country, he has demanded to have the issue of domestic violence swept under the rug . . . That is why he doesn’t deserve our attention or business.”
In this piece, blogger Yashar offers a powerful argument against our ongoing support of such violence, and a compelling reason for you to donate toward this video project.
As an author and an advocate, I’ve committed myself to helping other victims through my written works—even speaking for free at conferences and colleges—around the country. My work as a police reporter has given me a clear understanding of how widespread sexual abuse really is.
For instance, did you know that one in three women will be a victim of serious violence during their lifetime?
I also understand how the associated stigma often prevents most victims from seeking help, and how current laws do not adequately protect victims from perpetrators. Writing helped pave the way for my own recovery, since my greatest therapy came as I reflected on dozens of diaries while writing my memoir.
Sister of Silence has been endorsed by national experts at Johns Hopkins University, the FBI, the University of Berkeley, and by many other authors. It’s being used in colleges and at least one high school, and by a California therapist.
Health care professionals say this groundbreaking work should be in every classroom and therapy office in the country—but because this award-winning book does not have the backing of a major publishing house, we need your help to make that happen. Producing this video as a form of mass media is the quickest way to do that.
So thank you for helping us make this a reality—and in helping save other children from becoming victims like those at Penn State and elsewhere. Please share this link, and you can also select your thank-you gift while you’re there.
And after you donate (or even if you can’t donate) can you please share this on your page, and/or in an email with your friends? For whatever you can or are willing to do, thank you!
Editor’s note: Daleen Berry is a national expert in the area of child sex abuse and interpersonal violence, as well as an award-winning author and an accomplished journalist who speaks about these important social topics at conferences around the country. Berry will one of two keynote speakers addressing a national audience at “The Many Faces of Domestic Violence,” the 18th Annual Conference of the Association of Batterers’ Intervention Programs on March 1, 2012, in Anaheim, Calif. She recently spoke to social workers from all over the country at the “Hope for the Future: Ending Domestic Violence in Families” conference at the University of California, Berkeley.
Her memoir (paperback and as an e-book) can be found at bookstores everywhere, or ordered online. To read the first chapter free, please go to Goodreads. To read 30 five-star reviews, check out this title on Amazon. To see a mock up of the SOS t-shirt, check out Berry’s Facebook page.


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