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Community Building Partners


Pittsboro, NC, June 15, 2006– The Sunshine Lady Foundation and the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention announced continued support for a groundbreaking documentary film project titled “Private Violence: the Movement Against Battering in America”.

“Private Violence” is a two-hour feature documentary about the history and contemporary face of domestic violence and the inspiring, extraordinary people who fight against its corrosive influence.

Producers Catherine Saulino and Kit Gruelle of Astraea Productions recently completed a 21-minute promotional DVD for “Private Violence”. The promotional DVD, which features several dynamic leaders in the fight against domestic violence including Senator Joseph Biden and actress Salma Hayek, was funded by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and the Sunshine Lady Foundation.

"We do not usually fund film projects, but the passion of the producers and the quality of the promotional piece convinced us of the need and the potential impact," says Cindy Waitt, Executive Director of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. “I was stunned by how good it was. We just had to play a continued role in the development of this film”.

"Our country has come a long way since the first shelters for battered women were established in the 1970's," says Doris Buffett, founder of The Sunshine Lady Foundation. "It's time to document and honor the founders of the movement, examine where we've come so we can better plan for where we still need to go to end family violence."

Prior to making the promotional DVD, the producers held a week-long focus-group with pioneering advocates, international consultants, doctors, nonprofit leaders, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, and prosecutors, all of whom shared their passionate ideas about the kind of documentary they wanted to see about domestic violence. This highly successful $50,000 forum was funded by several organizations and individuals including the North Carolina Foundation for Rural Health, The California Endowment, the Putnam Trust and The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

Together, the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and The Sunshine Lady Foundation have contributed over $100,000 to developing “Private Violence”. Both organizations have pledged continued support once the producers bring additional donors to the $1 million film project.

Astraea Productions has already completed over 40 hours of compelling interviews. The new funding from Waitt Institute and The Sunshine Lady Foundation allows the producers to plan several more important shoots and to conduct vital archival research.

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is the fiscal sponsor and outreach consultant for “Private Violence: the Movement Against Battering in America”. “Domestic violence awareness organizations across the nation are eagerly awaiting this documentary. We just cannot wait to use this remarkable film for training our advocates and educating the public”, says NCCADV Executive Director Mary Beth Loucks-Sorrell.

Astraea Productions Inc., is a production company founded by Catherine Saulino, Ph.D. and Kit Gruelle, a survivor of battering and an esteemed national domestic violence educator. Astraea Productions is dedicated to the production of films that raise awareness about violence against women and children and the multiple ways in which this “core violence” corrodes our communities and erodes the health and safety of all members of society.

The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention is a private operating foundation committed to breaking the cycle of violence in our homes and communities by focusing on violence prevention on the local and national level. The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention is the only private foundation in America that focuses solely on primary prevention. Through our strong partnership with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and others, we've started a national groundswell that will change the social norms that contribute to family violence.
The Sunshine Lady Foundation, Inc. is a private family foundation established in 1996 through the vision and determination of founder and President, Doris Buffett. Ms. Buffett has worked for many years on behalf of battered women and their children, as an advocate, fund-raiser, board member and community organizer. A primary focus of the Foundation is to continue, develop and enhance efforts to end domestic violence. Additional funding priorities of the Foundation include primary education, scholarships and families in crisis.

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is a community of agencies and individuals who serve battered women and their children. Founded in 1981, NCCADV provides support to over 90 domestic violence agencies throughout the state of North Carolina. These services include professional training, technical assistance, referral, legislative oversight, and outreach assistance.

For more information and a copy of the “Private Violence” promotional DVD contact Catherine Saulino: 858-344-9018,