Last Updated on August 22, 2016 by Cindy Bekesi
Guests Previewed Unique Award-Winning Documentary that Tells the Story
of Children of Domestic Violence in Their Own Words
Shortly before the holiday season, Children of Domestic Violence hosted a special evening dedicated to putting the spotlight on what UNICEF calls “one of the most damaging unaddressed human rights violations in the world today.” This charity benefit featured a special screening of the foundation’s award-winning film, THE CHILDREN NEXT DOOR, a beautifully rendered, wrenching documentary that brings domestic violence out of the shadows and looks at it through a brand new set of eyes – the eyes of a child.
Released in October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month – with its official World Premier at the Hamptons International Film Festival, the groundbreaking documentary is part of a national campaign to raise awareness and deliver scalable solutions free to those who need them most. The film was selected by two other top-25 film festivals within a few short weeks following its release, receiving the Special Jury Award at the prestigious DOC NYC film festival in New York. It continues to travel the festival circuit as a unique film that poignantly tells the story of the children of domestic violence on the big screen.
The charity benefit was attended by more than 170 guests and also included a fully catered reception, as well as an art exhibit where two rising artists showcased original art pieces to benefit the foundation. In addition, the event featured a formal program with presentations by Children of Domestic Violence Founder Brian Martin and Chelsea Waldroup, the eldest daughter featured in the documentary.
At the beautifully arranged reception, guests had the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and cast, as well as learn more about childhood domestic violence and ways they could get involved to build awareness and help change a life. Many were, for the first time, exposed to the full scope of this epidemic – one of magnificent proportions that dwarf many other child-related issues that occupy a much more prominent place in the public eye.
5 million children experience CDV in the US every year and 40 million US adults experienced it as children. More than 275 million children are impacted worldwide. Without help and a different focus to reshape their belief system, “it is almost impossible for them to reach their full potential,” according to a leading brain researcher. As these children grow into adulthood, they are 74 times more likely to commit a violent crime against another, 50 times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, 6 times more likely to commit suicide, and 3 times more likely to repeat the cycle.
There’s currently only 7% awareness of the children impacted by domestic violence and the dire repercussions that follow, which is the most alarming statistic of all.
The event was made possible by many generous sponsors, including BlueIce Vodka, Blue Point Brewing Co., O.N.E. Coconut Water, Paper + Frame, AQUAhydrate, Mercy, Kettly Corn NYC, Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar, Cake Rage, Thalia Jewelry, & Orion Development Group. Catering was provide by NYC Catering Company.
All proceeds will be channeled directly into foundation programs and services to benefit children and adults who’ve experienced CDV.
To view photos from the evening, click here.