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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Sexual violence documentary ‘Searching for Angela Shelton’ to be shown at URI April 5

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KINGSTON, R.I -- March 31, 2005 -- In all probability you know someone who was sexually abused. The fact is that one in eight women in Rhode Island will be a victim of sexual violence sometime during her lifetime. Less than 23 percent of these victimizations are reported.

In recognition of the National Day to End Sexual Violence, the Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island will host a public viewing of the 90-minute documentary Searching for Angela Shelton on April 5 at 7 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on URI’s Kingston Campus. The screening, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the URI Women’s Studies Department, the URI Honors Program, and the Raise Your Voice Campaign. This film helps break the silence surrounding sexual violence. It includes sensitive footage and content.

Filmmaker Angela Shelton set out on a journey to meet other Angela Sheltons in America. What she wasn’t prepared for was learning that, like her, 24 out of 40 Angela Sheltons she spoke to had been raped, beaten or molested. Then there was an Angela Shelton who tracked sexual predators and just happened to live in the same town as the filmmaker’s father, who molested her and her stepsiblings for years.

“We need to create a community where victims feel safe coming forward. We need to believe and support survivors to end this silent epidemic,” says Angeline Martyn, director of communications at the Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center.

Child abuse, violence and rape have no boundaries of race, religion, gender, political party or social standing. Searching for Angela Shelton is an interesting and creative way of talking about something that doesn’t get talked about or confronted: child molestation and sexual abuse.

People in the film commit to breaking the silence and then breaking the cycle of abuse in their lives -- no matter where they come from or what their name is.

The Angela Sheltons complete the journey by teaching the filmmaker about forgiveness, faith and the power of the human spirit in all of us, no matter what your name is.

Although the event is free, donations will be accepted to benefit the Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center of Rhode Island. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For more information on how you can get involved contact the center at 401-421-4100 or visit