Theatre Club Video Highlights Dating Violence

Noreen Patel has been in a real-life emotionally abusive relationship. So when asked to tackle the topic in a video aimed at helping fellow young people spot the signs and find help, the Harper College theatre student quickly signed on. "It's not just about playing a role in this film. It's about playing a role in ending the violence," says Patel of Hoffman Estates. "I never want anyone to feel like I did."

Patel plays the sister of a victimized high school girl in the six-minute film. Commissioned by the Northwest Suburban Alliance on Domestic Violence and newly published to the College's YouTube channel, it tracks an unraveling relationship during prom season. With input from the Alliance, Patel and other Harper students worked with Theatre Director Kevin Long, Media Productions Coordinator Tom Knoff and Harper Police Chief Mike Alsup to produce the piece amid grim statistics: the 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey shows one in four women will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, and U.S. Department of Justice data suggests most cases are never reported. Emotional abuse, which isn't always easy to spot, is a growing part of the equation - and a key part of the video.

"Things have to change," says State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), co-chairman of the Alliance. "It was our vision to create this video, and we're so happy to have seen it through with the help of Harper College as we work to ensure our young people know the signs and know how, and where, to get help."

The video includes phone numbers for shelters and hotlines. More films are planned, with a goal of sharing consistent dating violence and emotional abuse messaging with high school students and area young people.

Press contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159