Memories of Violence

Memories of Violence is our new multimedia project, sharing individual stories from LGBTQ survivors about their experiences of violence. Our project is about focused on healing, education and awareness; pushing past the invisibility and silencing of LGBTQ survivors and empowering queer communities to have discussions on how we can support and grow with each other.

SocialScope Productions believes queer people develop strategic coping strategies to deal with violence that, at times, can be creative, campy, apathetic, resistant and empowering. Unfortunately, many anti-violence movements, agencies and advocates still have a long way to go in their sensitivity, compassion and understanding about the unique barriers and complexities LGBTQ survivors may face. Mainstream discussions about intimate partner violence, sexual violence and childhood abuse set up specific, rigid ideas on what violence is supposed to look like and who it directly affects. Our Memories of Violence project resists just sharing our stories in the narrow, pre-approved ways about how survivors are supposed to recount their memories of violence and where we should individually be with our own healing process.

Memories of Violence helps broaden ideas around violence, trauma and understands that LGBTQ individuals may have complicated relationships with power and power differentials at the intersections of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, socioeconomic class and violence. There is often an ongoing struggle for what constitutes consent and the socialization of queer sexuality, bodies, spaces and communities.

SocialScope Productions’ community and educational events present both opportunities and challenges for queer folks, students, anti-violence advocates, educators and community allies to envision strategies to prevent and interrupt sexual and intimate partner violence, transform the conditions that create violence, create community accountability and shift community norms around what constitutes consent.

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SocialScope Productions has hosted a variety of programs that focus on specific issues and identities within our diverse LGBTQ community, such as:

2013         Queering Violence: Conversations on Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence in LGBTQ Communities

Washington University, Brown School of Social Work, St. Louis

2013         Queering Consent: Conversations on Sexual Violence on LGBTQ Bodies and Spaces

DePaul University, Chicago

2012         Asking for It:  Sexual Violence, Shame and Stigma in Gay Male Communities

DePaul University, Chicago

Awarded “Outstanding Student Affairs Program” at the Stonewall Awards

2011         Reflections on Masculinity, Sexuality and Violence

DePaul University, Chicago


Here’s what others are saying about our project:

“The Memories of Violence project sponsored by SocialScope Productions provides an important forum to address the impact of violence on queer communities.  By giving voice to insidious trauma, microaggressions, and other forms of violence experienced by LGBTQ people, the project creates a context for larger, macrolevel change.  Powerful film clips provide a springboard from which to have discussions around LGBTQ violence, creating safety for audience members to discuss their own experiences of violence and to eliminate the silence and shame that so often surrounds sexual violence.”

Jeff Levy, LCSW, CTRS
Co-Founder and CEO, Live Oak, Inc.
Adjunct Faculty, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

Memories of Violence offers powerful and important stories and contributes significantly to conversations within LGBTQ communities about issues sexuality, gender, race, class and their intersections with violence. Rather than straightforward, clearcut, narrowly defined, and case-study prescriptive stories, Memories of Violence offers true-to-life stories – complex, messy, confusing, contradictory.  I believe that this project offers us an opportunity for deeper, richer, and more honest community dialogues around the complexities of violation and violence.  If we allow ourselves to actively listen to the stories, to let go of rigid formulaic responses, to engage the difficult issues that each story presents us with, we could develop more compassionate, just, and transformative responses to everyday violations.  I’m looking forward to using the stories in my classes and in my transformative project at DePaul called Building Communities, Ending Violence.”

Ann Russo, PhD
Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, DePaul University
Building Communities, Ending Violence Project of Beck Research Initiative