Jenn Snyder, 2010

JennSynderThis is the final week of Tracy’s fundraising campaign. We’re still trying to find Jenn’s voice, but as of this posting, we’re still only at 48% and there are only 6 days left in the campaign. Here is Tracy’s final message:

“Yesterday I had an amazing conversation with a new friend who reminded me that this campaign is about creating awareness. We set out to do this film to give Jenn a voice and to share her experience with the world. Through the last year of outreach, we’ve done just that! We’ve heard from dozens of survivors that having a voice is a powerful tool in healing and prevention.

Jenn Snyder is the face of our film. But we all know someone. One in four women and one in seven men are impacted by domestic violence. Maybe it is a mother, grandmother, sister, friend, neighbor, cousin…a person whose face you see when you think of intimate partner violence. Maybe it’s the face in the mirror…

It’s easy to feel helpless when we see that face. Easy to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the statistics.

  • But I’m here to tell you that just by reading this post, you are taking a stand against intimate partner violence.
  • Share this information with one other person, and your impact doubles.
  • And by funding this film you create a powerful tool which will make your impact grow exponentially.

No one needs to feel helpless.

Intimate partner violence is a preventable problem. Thank you for being a part of the solution.

Gratefully,

Tracy”

Visit Finding Jenn’s Voice and let them know what you think by posting a COMMENT.

And please consider a contribution: http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/finding-jenns-voice

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The War on Women

candleIt’s a political phrase, this war on women. Maybe a metaphor or a tag. It started as a ploy by one political party to define the workings of the other political party. Despite that,  it may very well be a reality.

The number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder. The number one cause of work place death for women is murder. There are more statistics, not pretty to look at, but important. This war on women goes unrecognized for the most part because it’s not the usual type of war that starts with a line in the sand or congressional declaration. It’s all done within the confines of intimate relationships. Lovers everywhere are killing their loved ones.

The problem is solvable. As with many of America’s current problems, the answer lies in education. Take a look at the left sidebar at domestic violence website listed above. “55% of women perceive violence as a normal part of their marriages.” I’m quite sure violence has no place in a marriage. Or any relationship. I’m also quite sure someone should get the word out about that.

The goal of Tracy Schott’s “Finding Jenn’s Voice” is just that. It’s a tool to educate the general public about the problem, and to raise awareness among those most at risk.

Narcissistic people capable of heinous crimes, such as murder of a loved one, send up red flags even if they are not outwardly violent. If we learn to recognize these red flags, we can save lives.

The word needs to get out. Documentaries, such as “Finding Jenn’s Voice,” need to be made and distributed. But films are expensive to make. That won’t happen without funding. Please consider a contribution to “Finding Jenn’s Voice,” today, so we can get the word out. There are only 13 days left in the fundraising campaign and it is only 40% funded so far. Please help.

Keep in mind this is a pay now, or pay later deal. Each murder in the U.S. costs the taxpayers 2 million dollars. This is preventable. Help now.

Sue Lange

Your Personal Murder Bill

MurderStatAccording to the World Health Organization, a murder in the United States costs the American taxpayers 2 million dollars. First off there’s the loss of productivity and wages the victim would have earned. Then there are the costs incurred during the processing of this murder. The investigation, the prosecution, the incarceration. There are additional costs if the victim is hospitalized prior to death.

With roughly 15,000 murders a year committed in the U.S. that ciphers out to 30 billion bucks. It’s a luxury I don’t think we need.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, most murders are committed against someone known to the perpetrator. Sadly many of these people are victimized by intimate partners. It’s hard to believe, let alone understand, that truth.

The key to preventing such horrible acts is education. There are red flags in a relationship that can indicate a person is at risk. But currently we are not educating ourselves as to what these red flags are. What if there was a vehicle for disseminating this important information? Would you help to get the word out?

If the answer to that question is yes, then get yourself over to the crowdfunding site for the film, “Finding Jenn’s Voice,” and make a donation. The very purpose of this film is to educate and help those of us at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). It explains what IPV is, how to recognize it, and how to prevent it.

The film’s producer, Tracy Schott, is only 22% funded at this point. She’s half way through the campaign. If she doesn’t reach her goal she will not get her funding. She will not finish the film. It will not get distributed. The word will not reach the people who need to hear the message.

And if you think the number of people dying via IPV is small and so not worth fretting over, consider this:

The FBI has reported that 11,766 American women were killed by IPV between 9/10/2001 to 6/6/2012. According to the Center for Disease Control, every day more than 3 women are killed by their intimate partners.

You can do something about this. You can help educate people. All you have to do is give ten bucks to the film. Ten bucks now might just prevent a 2 million dollar bill later on. And it’s not just about murder. IPV in all its forms incurs costs to all of us.

According to the World Health Organization, from 56% to 80% of the costs of care for gun and stabbing injuries are either directly paid by public financing or are not paid at all — in which case they are absorbed by the government and society in the form of uncompensated care financing and overall higher payment rates.

So you are paying for IPV whether or not you are involved, are related to someone involved, or even remotely know someone involved. If you are a million miles away from IPV, you are still paying for it. So do yourself a favor, take one small step in preventing it.

Sue Lange

Getting the Word Out with Conflicting Messages

speakeasy:FindingJennsVoiceI’m in the middle of three projects at the moment. All of them are using social media to “get the word out.” The two foremost projects, “Speakeasy” and “Finding Jenn’s Voice,” don’t exactly have conflicting messages, but the approach to their social media campaigns couldn’t be more different.

Speakeasy is a play about Reading, PA during the Prohibition years. The Roaring 20s. We’re staging this production at the end of the month when an old ballroom will be transformed into a speakeasy. We’ll be serving beer and wine as well as some of Reading’s signature product: pretzels. Our opening song, in fact, is “Pretzels and Beer.” We’ve got Vaudevillian performers serving as a backdrop for the action on the floor where the Socialists, Temperance women, and gangsters congregate.

You’re getting the picture: it’s an evening of light entertainment. I’m pretty sure the show is going to be popular. We’ve already sold a bunch of tickets. That makes sense. People want to have fun. Social media for “Speakeasy” has been a snap.

“Finding Jenn’s Voice,” on the subject of intimate partner violence, is not as easy a sell. People find it hard to look in the face of evil. Instinct tells us to look the other way. We don’t really want to hear Jenn’s side of the story. We’d rather just listen to the news capsules with a few sensational sound bites before heading into the stock report.

The news media pretends it’s a big headline, a major event but worthy of only five minutes air time. It’s unique, but it’s over. It won’t happen again, so let’s move on.

But it does happen again. And again and again. It happens so frequently it’s not really newsworthy. What is newsworthy is the work that a number of people are doing to make sure it doesn’t happen frequently. It’s a cultural phenomenon, this spouse-killing, and it can be prevented. But you won’t hear that on CNN, let alone Fox.

The problem will be solved with education, but that education will never be part of the highschool or college curriculum. It will take the media, but a different avenue than the nightly news. This information can only come outside the Internet/TV realm.

The story requires a documentarian to research the story, document it, frame it, and distribute it in new places. That requires money, which requires fundraising, which requires social media.

Trying to raise awareness for “Finding Jenn’s Voice” requires a firm but gentle presence on Facebook and Twitter. Those two platforms have the power to change the world. We’ve seen it time and again. But unlike that for an evening of fun entertainment, this campaign requires a sober uncompromising face.

The sobriety required to inform the world about Finding Jenn’s Voice is in conflict with the Barnum & Bailey voice required to sell Speakeasy. Social media is a great tool, but it unmasks a person like me. Split between two projects, two loyalties, two voices, even I’m not sure how I feel about anything. Is there evil around every corner, so much that levity is in bad taste? Or is life but a joke, not to be taken seriously?

I feel strongly about both of these projects. I’m 100% committed to both. They’re both very important to me. I’m just having trouble reconciling the social media. Somehow I must convince the Facebook crowd to get on board with both. Is that possible?

Sue Lange

P.S. Please consider a $10 donation to Finding Jenn’s Voice (http://www.seedandspark.com/studio/finding-jenns-voice).

And if you’re in the Reading area Aug. 30, 31, Sept. 5, 6, or 7, consider coming to the show.

Pregnancy and Intimate Partner Violence

FJVsmallTracy Schott’s documentary, FINDING JEN’S VOICE, is about half-way completed. She’s still got some shooting and interviewing to do before she begins the editing process. To get all of this done, she’s launching a fund-raising campaign  on July 29th. More about this below.

Finding Jenn’s Voice concerns the difficult subject of intimate partner violence (IPV). Tracy became involved  with IPV when a friend related the story of her niece, Jennifer Snyder, who had been murdered by her boyfriend. The boyfriend was married to another woman at the time and when he discovered Jennifer was pregnant he killed her.

Tracy was reluctant at first to work on a project that seemed more appropriate for tabloid journalism. But after doing a cursory search on the Internet, she discovered a horrible fact: murder is the number one cause of death in pregnant women. After overcoming her initial shock, she asked herself what could be done. What could she do about it? Tracy is a movie and tv show producer. The logical answer for her was to use her skills to tell Jennifer Snyder’s story with an eye to educating the world about the larger problem. The result is Finding Jenn’s Voice.

In Finding Jenn’s Voice, Tracy is offsetting the sensationalism the media initially gave Jennifer’s story with a clinical look at the wider problem of IPV. The movie will be a clarion call to our society: we must talk about this, we must make ourselves aware, we must change the story.

The fundraising campaign for the movie will launch at the end of the month. I’ve signed up to help get the word out. I’ll be following along on Facebook and reporting her progress back here. I’ll also be posting general  information on IPV as Tracy continues her research.

For more information on Finding Jenn’s Voice, visit the website. To help in these pre-launch days, you can “like” the Facebook page for Finding Jenn’s Voice, and pass along this information to everyone you know.

Stay tuned.

Sue Lange