Friday, August 17, 2007

(Un)Safe Film Depicts What Happens When Abuse At Home Invades the Workplace

One in five employed adults is a victim of domestic violence. But what happens when abuse at home invades the workplace? (Un)Safe, an original, live-performance drama, has helped more than 350 executives at more than 70 companies explore this question since CAEPV Member Safe Horizon commissioned the work in 2005. (Un)Safe is the centerpiece of the education and training component of SafeWork, a national movement to help corporate leaders keep their employees safe and protect their company’s bottom line. I was privileged to have helped create the original live performance drama that premiered in 2005.

But now, even more companies can benefit. A short film version of (Un)Safe is in production through the generous support of CAEPV Member Altria Group. It is being directed by James Ponsoldt, who wrote and directed a feature film called “Off the Black” that debuted at the most recent Sundance Film Festival.

The new (Un)Safe film not only enables a deeper depiction of the impact of domestic violence on a corporate executive, her children, her colleagues, and her company, but also ensures that SafeWork trainings will have a wider reach in corporations throughout the country.

The film premiere for (Un)Safe will be hosted by actress Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on the evening of SafeWork’s National Launch date, September 25th

The launch date is special, because it is Liz Claiborne's third National "It's Time to Talk Day." You can learn more at

A question and answer session with the director and cast will follow the screening. The film will also be used for the first time earlier that day as part of a SafeWork training and information session. I will be working with Kristen Illes of Safe Horizon as we "use" the film for the first time in a SafeWork training on the 25th.

It has been amazing to watch the live drama transform to this film. It is truly a tool that I believe will help managers understand what happens to victims of domestic violence in a way that no "talking points" can. I can't wait for September 25! And it is pretty cool that Mariska Hargitay is hosting the "film premiere" -- I must say! I think this is just one more way to draw attention to the importance of this issue and help employers understand their role in addressing domestic violence as a workplace issue.

If you are interested in learning more about SafeWork, you can check out Safe Horizon's website at

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