Abuse, Escape, Newfound Hope
Kim and her family gave us their story, and thanks to them we have a film –their generosity and openness infused the spirit of this entire project.
Kim’s central role is fitting. In domestic violence work, one of the guiding principles has always been to listen to the voices of battered women. It was battered women whose voices shaped the concept of power and control. And it was those same voices that shaped the film.
In Duluth, we started with Kim but we also interviewed other women staying at Safe Haven, and other women who participated in Safe Haven programs. They shared stories of emotional and physical abuse. In New York, we met with women involved in the Voice of Women Organizing Project, who shared their experiences and their viewpoint on the family court systems and other critical issues. We also interviewed other survivors in New York who were introduced to use through our network of partnerships in the city.
The voices of battered women speak eloquently and honestly. They attest to the persistence of violence against women in our society.
In her own words: Kim Mosher
“I don’t want to be hurt, I don’t want my girls to be hurt. I never would have said it two months ago, but I do deserve better, I don’t care if I’m putting ten years of marriage in the trash I don’t care, I’ve fought and struggled and got us through those ten years and the one good thing I got out of that was my girls. He’s not going to take that away from me.”
Kim’s Story: Survival
Kim’s life reflects many of the dimensions of domestic violence in our society. As if often the case, her trials began in childhood. Her father was abusive to her and her mother and her sisters. And early on, Kim was also the object of sexual abuse outside of her home as well. The abuse continued into her marriage. In Kim’s case, the marital abuse was primarily emotional. It was more overt physical aggression directed at the children that finally moved Kim to leave. Today, Kim continues of her journey. The difficult choices she has made further illuminate the complex aspects of family violence.
Partner Profile: Safe Haven Shelter, Duluth, MN
A group of Duluth battered women’s advocates formed Safe Haven Shelter in 1978. Cathryn Curley, one of the founders, continued to work with the shelter until her untimely death late last year. Cathryn’s last major project was to lead the successful effort to open Duluth’s Family Justice Center. The shelter currently occupies a building in East Duluth, with a capacity to house 39 residents. Safe Haven kindly opened its doors to our crew for filming, an act of trust for which we’ll always be grateful.