"I had the honor and pleasure to meet Kit Gruelle today at the screening of the documentary, "Private Violence" that she casts in. She is a survivor and advocate for domestic violence primarily in North Carolina, but also makes a presence all across the country. She is an inspiration for her dedication to supporting victims of domestic violence as well as bringing the offenders to justice. Domestic violence is a disturbing subject that is for some hard to talk to about or not talked about enough because some may not understand what actually happens behind closed doors. It is only day 3 in my internship for San Bernardino county, and I have already been exposed to more areas of need that I didn't know of and have more open doors to where I can be in the near future to make a difference. Kit is someone I hope to have the pleasure to work with in the future." - Jessica Bryon
Kit Gruelle travels across North America to educate communities about the complex issues battered women face. As a survivor and long-time advocate for battered women, she uses the knowledge she has gained over the years to paint a clear picture of domestic violence and what communities can and should do to intervene. For over twenty five years, Kit has been providing training to "first responders", including advocates, law enforcement officers and other criminal justice professionals, educators (high school teachers, college and university professors), policy makers and legislators, and primary healthcare providers. For the last 18 years, she has been a Subject Matter Expert for California Commission on POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training), and co-instructs a course on domestic violence for crisis/hostage negotiators.
"The best way to make our communities safer is to do all we can to stop abuse behind closed doors. For the last three decades, I've had the privilege to work with victims and survivors of what we call 'domestic violence' but should be referred to as intimate terrorism. Women who have experienced abuse (emotional, physical, sexual and more) often feel marginalized and judged by familes, friends and society. That must change. Rather than blaming her for his abuse, we must recognize her wisdom, courage and determination, and celebrate her for it. We must also challenge the prevailing attitudes and belief systems that are still so prevalent in American society. These attitudes give abusers a pass and normalize their violent and controlling behavior, further marginalizing her and empowering him. This private violence is dangerous, not only for her and the children, but also for him and our communities in general, because violence in our homes leads to violence in our communities."