Non-Profits

Feedback from Change Agents

“SANDS of SILENCE offers a poignant look into the experiences of several women who survived acts of sexual violence. The film does an incredible job addressing the full spectrum of sexual violence, ranging from child sexual abuse to human trafficking. While many documentaries have illuminated this topic for audiences around the world, SANDS of SILENCE offers an extremely personal look into the myriad challenges and successes a victim experiences. Whether it’s the validation or invalidation that can come from comparing their stories to others, to facing pressures from family members and loved ones, to forgiving one’s perpetrator, this film captures the complexity of a survivor’s healing journey in a profound way. As a victim’s advocate and a trainer, I can see countless potential uses for this film with a variety of audiences as we work together to engage people around the world in a meaningful dialogue on how to  end the massive public health crisis that is sexual violence.”

—Abbey Hanley, Training Manager, Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland, OH

 

«Emotional sexual abuse is sometimes more insidious because it is not as easily recognizable as rape, torture, and/or trafficking and the survivor often feels that she does not have the same “right” to feel sad, depressed or anxious and to grieve her loss and pain as do the survivors of rape, torture or trafficking.»

—Laure Weber, Psy., D.


 

«Such a powerful film…full of honesty that slices at the heart and such strength in survival that hope prevails. One cannot sit through this film and not stand in greater courage to see this pain end. Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, Virginia and Anu….Thank you for this gift.»

—Patrick Erlandson – Long Beach, CA, Human Trafficking Task Force

 


 

«Your documentary is very moving and deeply impactful. Unfortunately, these stories unfortunately abound.» 

Paul Bloomfield, Patron of Coram Children’s Legal Centre, London


“A powerful look into the difficult realities surrounding sexual abuse and trafficking, delivered through stories that are painful but oh so compelling. Well done, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, for helping us dive deeper into a subject we must bring to light—the sexual exploitation of our most vulnerable members of society.”

—Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting with Presence

“I was incredibly impressed with how the film wove the stories together for people to connect with it at any level. I see similar “dismissing” of trauma from people who compare their experiences with over-the-top dramatic horror stories. Your film does a great job of explaining how our experiences shape us and need to be acknowledged, not dismissed or minimized.” 

—Gail Soffer, Founder, Mindful Warrior Project

CHECK OUT OUR NON-PROFIT ALLIES HERE

Communities / Libraries

Audience Feedback

«I feel blessed to see your incredibly moving “life-changing” documentary film.  This amazing film will heal and change lives.  “Sands of Silence” is a tremendous contribution to humanity.   It’s a must see film!  It needs to be seen by everyone globally!»

May Liang, artist, Bay Area


 

«Your film touches a very painful subject, but in essence, your film is about love.»

Young businessman, NuHive screening, Shanghai


«Violence and abuse have a best friend, a trusted accomplice: Silence. After watching Sands of Silence I can hear the waves of courage crashing loudly against the rocks of silence; a sad sound wrapped in sweet possibility of all that can be… thank you Ms. Alvarez-Stehle and fellow brave soldiers.»

Yareli Arizmendi, actress, Like Water for Chocolate

“She-he-all who in spite of fear break the silence are heroes. Chelo Alvarez-Stehle director and subject of Sands of Silence, along with the brave protagonists of this documentary are nothing short of that: heroes.»

Sergio Arau, filmmaker, A Day Without a Mexican

«I loved when you said that you consider yourself a humanist first, then a feminist.»

Hiromi, female freshman student, Hiroshima City University, Japan


 

«I was moved by Chelo’s invaluable work because I can feel how hard must have been for her to speak up and reveal everything she and her family went through.
This topic the film addresses needs to be share with every woman and man.»

Audience member, Cervantes Institute, Tokyo

 

High Schools

Students’ Feedback

Sands of Silence Documentary screening to New Roads, Santa Monica, California – high school students

“The film was informative, inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking, moving, emotional,and  welcoming to other survivors of sexual abuse such as myself. The film expressed kindness towards the victims where most people might put blame. I thought it showed a fascinating comparison between two different kinds of abuse cases and the film delved into the stories without putting the acts/victims against one another. It  somehow created an inviting atmosphere despite the heavy topics discussed. It was inviting enough to encourage people to share their own personal experiences.

“I really enjoyed the film. I liked how the documentary was really just like watching a story unfold. That’s something not many documentaries are able to do. It was an emotional movie that did a great job of shedding light on a topic that needs to be seen.”

“I think the topic is very intriguing and a great idea. I love how raw it is, really tells the individual how very real this issue is in our world and how it can really damage someone. I really love the title of the film because it’s something so small that tells one so much about another…where it all began in the grains of sand and the silence that carried on with her for such a long time. I think the only flaw I have of this movie is that it can be slow moving at times, but that isn’t an overall statement just an individual opinion.”

“The film was very personal and raw. The scenes including her family and childhood, especially where she confronts her former abuser in a letter, was especially intimate and moving. I’m admire Chelo for her ability to become vulnerable with her personal life in order to inspire and improve the lives of countless others, still searching for the courage to come out as a victim.”

READ our experience screening the film to a hundred 14 to 18 year-old high school students in Spain

Sands of Silence a tool to empower students