The Real Meaning of April 1st—Why the SOS Video Project Debuts Tonight

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A 12:06 a.m. phone call this morning reminded me that today is, indeed a special day. For more reasons than the obvious one, that being the release of the “Sister of Silence: Silent No More” book trailer.
The phone call was from my son, whose name is “Slade” in my book. (My children got to chose their own pseudonyms. Enough said?)
He began by saying that “27 years ago today you gave birth to me,” and then ended the call by telling me he couldn’t thank me enough. If I could, I’d frame it, because it’s singularly the best message anyone has ever left me. Bar none.
So “Slade” was born on April 1, 1985, effectively making him an April Fool’s baby, and, at 21, making me a mom for the fourth time in five years. Six weeks later and I would never be a mom again.
Let’s talk about reality for a minute: the Centers for Disease Control says that approximately 32,000 pregnancies occur each year in the United States, due to rape. That’s why I took permanent steps to stop becoming pregnant; rape, you see, doesn’t only happen outside of own’s home.
The “SOS: Silent No More” video project, which is actually a six-minute long book trailer, took four months to complete. Most of that work was done by Nick Adkins, a Marshall University college student. The rest of us just played our parts here and there, as we were needed. I was the only person older than 30 who participated.
Other than the compelling story line in Sister of Silence, I think these young people—Nick, Sarah Lemanski, who plays me, and Max Gould, who plays Eddie—recognize that sexual misconduct and even sex crimes are a huge problem in our society. Our conversations led me to that conclusion.
My own understanding of sex crimes is based on personal experience, my journalism work and tons of research. I also see that children and young people aren’t being prepared to fend off predators or attackers. Parents are more than a little squeamish when it comes to talking about sexuality. So I’m giving them some tools to work with.
The first one is my book, Sister of Silence; the second one is the video that goes live tonight at 9 p.m.; the third is a non-profit I created, the Silent No More Foundation, that will help parents educate their children easier and in a more comfortable setting. Please join our educational efforts at VintageBerryWine, my YouTube channel.
Stay tuned for more details, because this is not an April Fool’s joke. My son reminded me of that less than 24 hours ago.
Editor’s note: Daleen Berry has expertise in overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment, and can be pretty funny when she wants. She’s an award-winning author, editor and journalist who speaks at conferences around the country. Berry was 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 see why Foreword Reviews gave it five stars, click here. If you want to read 30 other 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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