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Sylvie's Story

Sylvie's Story

| 27 min

This short film recreates the experience of Sylvie, a battered woman who seeks shelter in a Montréal transition house. Faced with the threat of violence, loneliness, the lack of financial resources or information about services, the victim is often understandably reluctant to seek help. Emphasizing the importance for women of speaking out, the film also points out the role of the transition house in putting victims of abuse in touch with appropriate legal and social services. Sylvie’s Story is part of The Next Step, a 3-film series about the services needed by and available to battered women.

  • director
    Tina Horne
  • producer
    Gerry Rogers
    Tina Horne
  • executive producer
    Kathleen Shannon
  • cinematography
    Zoe Dirse
  • sound
    Norma Denys
  • editing
    Sidonie Kerr
  • sound editing
    Jackie Newell
  • re-recording
    Hans Peter Strobl
  • narrator
    Holly Dressel
  • music
    Judith Gruber-Stitzer


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Ages 16 to 18

Study Guide - Guide 1

Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
Health/Personal Development - Healthy Relationships
Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide

Warning (if any): Descriptions of domestic violence (referred to as “battered women”), suicide

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context:

Film describing services available to women experiencing domestic violence in 1986 in the Montreal area.

What is the role of police when it comes to domestic violence cases? How has it changed over the years? What should it be in an ideal world?

Women are assaulted an average of three times before a neighbour will do anything, since people are often afraid of reporting a crime and may feel that it will not ultimately help the victim or stop the perpetrator.  What should be done to change public perception?

How do the patriarchal values in our society affect the rates of domestic violence? Have domestic violence statistics changed from 1986 to now? What other factors might affect how likely women are to seek help?

Does domestic violence only affect women and children? How have roles evolved?

We no longer use the phrase “battered women”; why is this? How does the changing of language help contribute to the changing perception of domestic violence?

Sylvie's Story
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