Local Healthcare Provider Lends Support to Film, “Private Violence”

Dr. Kimberly Womack, DHs, ARNP-BC, SANE-A, CEN, director of Emerald Coast Forensic Services in Gulf Breeze and treasurer of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), recently returned from a trip to Chicago to attend an event called Good Pitch, where she lent support to the film, “Private Violence” as a forensic expert.  While in Chicago, she also had the opportunity to speak to an invitation-only audience of about 200 people from around the world who were there to support one of the documentaries that had been selected to participate in Good Pitch Chicago this year.  Good Pitch is an organization that brings together seven documentary filmmaking teams each year with foundations, NGOs, philanthropists, broadcasters, brands, technology, social entrepreneurs, government, and media around leading social issues to forge unique coalitions and campaigns around documentary films to maximize their impact and influence.

“Private Violence”, which will possibly be viewed at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2014, relates the pivotal role the forensic nurse has in ultimately saving the life of the woman in the film and illuminates a disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for women in America is in their own homes. Every day in the U.S., at least four women are murdered by abusive partners or ex-partners, and the reflexive response to victims is, “Why don’t you just leave?” “Private Violence” follows the story of two survivors, Deanna Walters, who seeks justice for the violence committed against her by her ex-husband; and Kit Gruelle, an advocate-turned-writer through whom viewers meet other survivors from a cross-section of society. The film depicts the journey of these two women, who escaped their abusers only to face systems that fail, judge, marginalize, and blame them for the violence to which they have been subjected.

Meeting Kit Gruelle was the real highlight of Womack’s trip to Chicago. “She is someone who has walked in the dark shadow of domestic violence herself and immerged as a hero for so many women. I was able to donate $5000.00 on behalf of the IAFN to help her finish the film,” Womack said.

The film validates and recognizes exactly what forensic nurses do on the frontlines every day, whether they are involved in domestic violence, sexual assault, inter-personal violence or death investigation.  The forensic nurse in this film responds and advocates for the victim, ultimately saving her life.  What would have happened if she had not been the voice for this physically and mentally injured woman?

According to Womack, ““Private Violence” will be life changing and life saving for the people this film maker will never meet!!”

Violence is a healthcare issue, as it is responsible for 1.5 million deaths worldwide and uncountable life-changing injuries.  “Private Violence” will make everyone start asking, “Where is the forensic nurse in every healthcare system in the world?”  Unfortunately, there is not a forensic nurse in healthcare communities too numerous to count. This film embodies the essence of what forensic nurses do when given the chance.

For more information about forensic nursing in the Gulf Coast, please call Dr. Kimberly Womack at 850-677-0737.  To learn more about Good Pitch and the film “Private Violence”, please visit www.goodpitch.org.

Photo: Kit Gruelle (left) and Dr. Womack (right) pose for a photo at Good Pitch Chicago.