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Suisman Shapiro Is A Community Partner For The Power Of Purple’s Theater For Social Change: Rule of Thumb, a One – Act Play on Domestic Violence

Community Awareness Performance Event with Expert Panel and Discussion

The Power of Purple campaign, founded by the Rose Conrad Memorial Fund of Safe Futures, in partnership with Hadassah American Affairs of Eastern Connecticut, will present the awareness raising event: Theater for Social Change Rule of Thumb, a one act play on domestic violence. This performance and accompanying discussion with the audience and an expert panel will take place on Thursday, April 10, 2014 in Norwich, hosted by President Dr. Grace Jones at the Three Rivers Community College All Purpose Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call (860) 364-6937.

The evening will commence at 6 P.M. with a Resource Fair hosted by numerous community partnering organizations. The theater performance and discussion will begin at 7 P.M. Refreshments will be served and the event is free and open to the public, although donations are appreciated.

Since its founding in 2012, the Power of Purple Campaign has been presenting programs and taking action against domestic violence by raising awareness and by educating the general public and the professional community of responders to domestic violence.

Three women are killed every day in the U.S. by their intimate partners and one in four American women will be abused in her lifetime. Millions of our children are victims and bystanders of domestic violence and still many more victims are left in the shadows, paralyzed by fear, terror and shame and by the failure of our institutions to adequately recognize and respond. The Power of Purple Campaign brings domestic violence out of the shadows and into the open through awareness, education and action. Purple is the color of domestic violence. The Power of Purple Campaign strives to put purple on the map of our consciousness so it will be a recognizable symbol of the education and action needed to end domestic violence. Purple is also a reminder to honor and give hope to battered women and their children who are living in violent homes, and to celebrate survivors.

As Chair of American Affairs for the Hadassah chapter and founder of the Rose Conrad Memorial Fund of Safe Futures, Sheila Horvitz is chairing the event with a committee made up of representatives from both sponsoring organizations as well as many community organizations . “With this wonderful theatrical presentation that will provoke and enlighten our community on the importance of fighting domestic violence, our Campaign continues to go from strength to strength, enlisting greater community participation and awareness,” says Ms. Horvitz.

The Theater for Social Change program will be the third awareness raising event presented by the Power of Purple Campaign. On April 4, 2013, the campaign hosted a successful inaugural event at Three Rivers Community College featuring an educational film, panel and a keynote address by noted author and humorist Gina Barreca. On October 27, The Hot Cider Walk and Rally brought hundreds of citizens, community groups, and political figures together for a walk and awareness raising event in historic Groton.

The Rose Conrad Memorial Fund was founded by Sheila Horvitz in 2005. As a matrimonial attorney in southeastern Connecticut for over thirty years, she saw the problem of domestic violence first hand, most dramatically in the murder of her client, Rose Conrad, at the hands of her husband during their divorce case. Out of that tragedy, the Rose Conrad Memorial Fund was born to bring awareness and education to the victims and their responders in the health, education, legal and criminal justice communities. Since its founding, the Fund, under the umbrella of Safe Futures, has mounted educational conferences, programs for children affected by domestic violence and fundraising events.

Hadassah is the largest women’s organization in America and is committed to unwavering devotion to Zionism and American ideals. In the U.S., through its American Affairs branch, Hadassah reaches its goals by advocating for issues of importance to women and to the American Jewish community. Its advocacy includes policy statements, direct advocacy, legislative initiatives, and lobbying political leaders on the local, state and national level. Hadassah has been outspoken in support of initiatives to end domestic violence and is a strong supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, advocating for its passage in the current Congress. In its policy statement on Violence Against Women, Hadassah “reaffirms its longstanding commitment to women’s rights and women’s health needs. To these ends, we actively condemn all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence. Hadassah therefore pledges to work directly to educate its members and their communities about violence against women, both inside and out of the Jewish community. Hadassah will also continue to advocate for legislative initiatives aimed at ending this violence and supporting the needs of battered women and their families.”

Safe Futures, founded in 1976 as the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT, saves lives, restores hope and changes the future for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault throughout New London County. During the last year, Safe Futures saved the lives of 171 women and children who fled abuse and were sheltered at Genesis House, the safe house; restored hope for 16 households by providing housing, training and support through its Phoenix House transitional living program; and change the future for over 3,500 students, who participated in violence prevention education programs, including the popular VIP (Violence is Preventable) program. Hotlines and the women-and-children-only emergency shelter are staffed and operating 24/7/365, providing round-the-clock accessibility to Safe Futures’ free, confidential services.

Plays for Living, the creator of Rule of Thumb, uses interactive drama and theater techniques as a tool for positive social change by helping people at all levels of society explore and confront sensitive contemporary issues. PFL’s live dramas and facilitated dialogues allow people to ask and discuss developmental questions about the challenging life situations that impact them. Since its founding, PFL has brought together theater professionals and experts on various social issues to develop and produce its original plays about critical family, community and work-related issues. Today’s body of work includes plays about diversity and conflict in the workplace, sexual harassment, corporate ethics, domestic violence, date rape, caring for aging relatives, conflict resolution and more. Since its inception in 1942, more than a million people have experienced Plays for Living dramas.

Other groups who have joined the program as community partners as of this writing include The Otis Library; The Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women; Southeastern CT Women’s NETWORK; Safe Futures’ Engaging Men group, supporters of the Men Against Domestic Violence Campaign; Madonna Place; United Community Family Services; and, Backus Hospital. For information on becoming a community partner or to sponsor this event, contact Sheila Horvitz at (860) 884-8945 or [email protected].


Community Awareness Performance Event with Expert Panel and Discussion


Three Rivers Community College All Purpose Auditorium
574 New London Turnpike
Norwich, Ct. 06360


Thursday, April 10, 2014

  • 6:00 P.M. – Registration and Resource Fair
  • 7:00 P.M. – Program


For more information visit
Or call (860) 364-6937.
Free and open to the public.

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