"Your film was beautiful. You both and all involved did a wonderful job. I love to see women rise up. It was difficult to watch Davida, as I grew up with a similar mom but had to watch it plus an abusive addict father.... I am many of those women .... But then to have become the very people who hurt me... and do similar damage. But the common thread women who rise up and work through the change is that they CHOOSE ...... to do so regardless of the pain or lack from the past...so that we may too break the cycle. Love it! I am a curse breaker, a cycle breaker. Bless you and Davida!" - L.M.

"I was personally very moved by the documentary, 'Breaking the Silence'. These are very bright young women who have struggled with serious issues including physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, living in foster care, having a parent with a mental illness, etc. In this documentary, the young women discuss their past and share the pain they have had to go thru as well as their ability to become triumphant over their circumstances. This is an extremely encouraging documentary that should be shown to anyone growing up in similar circumstance as it could offer them hope about their future and a vision of themselves as the great heroes of their lives as the women in this documentary embody! This documentary could also be the centerpiece for a course in high school that could encourage all young people to overcome any adversity in their lives! Well I can tell you--it's already encouraged a lot of teens in South El Monte giving them tremendous hope!!! My therapist showed it to her kids in a group and they were incredibly inspired--she wanted to do a group around the video! Our other clinical Supervisor whom I deeply respect just showed it to her group therapists and said how moved she was by it and immediately asked me to get her a copy--she see's teens in at a high school in San Gabriel. So you see, it's already begun to cause waves of healing for many people! I have about 13 therapists signed up to get a DVD so far." - Nancy Miller, MFT, Program Manager, The Almansor Center

"I am a therapist and clinical supervisor at Almansor Center. I provide individual and group supervision with pre-licensed therapists at this agency. Nancy Miller provided me with a copy of your video to utilize in group for training purposes. The response to your video was very positive. Our agency works with youth from approximately age 3 to age 21. After we viewed the video many of the group members expressed how beneficial the film would be showing it to their adolescent females. Many of the young women to whom we provide mental health services have experienced significant losses, domestic violence and substance abuse in their families of origin, gang involved families and/or communities, parents who present with mental illness, parents who are emotionally unavailable, are rigid, domineering or lack appropriate boundaries. Our young women may be able to relate to the struggles to the women you interviewed. Your subjects present as real and available and with significant self-knowledge. They provide a message of hope, that women can rise above the challenging circumstances of their childhoods. They serve as positive role models, letting our young women know that they possess the capacity to rise above their circumstances, that they can gain confidence and comfort with who they are. One therapist showed your video to a group of adolescent women. These young women, many who may otherwise present as guarded about their lives were able to discuss similar circumstances that occurred in their lives with their peers. They appeared eager to engage in further conversations. According to the therapist, they said the video provided them with a sense of hope about their own lives ad about their potential. The film became a barrier breaker. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to view your video. Your video will serve as a tremendous resource in our work with our population." - Larry Lyons, LCSW


Breaking the Silence - About the Participants

These five women are the reason we made this film. Their stories are examples of the triumph of the human spirit, the power of making purposeful decisions and taking complete self-responsibility for one's life. In these very difficult times, when more and more people are faced with challenging circumstances in every area of their lives, these women demonstrate that even the most severe, even brutal, circumstances can be overcome with the right attitude.

While they are certain to face many more challenges in their still young lives, all of these women are remarkably free of resentment and self-pity. They have all tapped into their essence, and developed internal strength in response to the adversities they've faced.

I'll Be My Own Hero
Andrea Dair

Written & produced by Michael Horn

Breaking the Silence