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Alumna Kit Gruelle fights domestic violence in HBO documentary ‘Private Violence’

BOONE—As part of her ongoing battle against domestic violence, Appalachian State University alumna Kit Gruelle is featured in the HBO documentary “Private Violence.” Gruelle is featured in the film as an advocate and community activist fighting for rights and resources for women and children who experience violence at home. “Private Violence” centers on a North Carolina woman who has survived domestic violence.

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“Private Violence” will be shown in Holmes Convocation Center on campus Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, and this event is open to the public.

“I started this project 12 years ago to call attention to the battered women’s movement and celebrate the strength of battered women,” Gruelle said. “I also wanted to challenge the stereotypes still attached to domestic violence.”

“Private Violence” is the result of Gruelle’s own battle with domestic violence. Her experiences inspired her to become an advocate, and her role as advocate is portrayed in the documentary.

Gruelle graduated from Appalachian in 2012 with a B.S. in sociology, which was a focus in violence against women. “The sociology professors were incredibly supportive of me,” she said. “They valued my life experience in very respectful ways.”

Gruelle hopes that “Private Violence” will help people gain a realistic understanding of the complexities of domestic violence. “By bringing communities together, we can work as a team to support victims and hold abusers accountable for their choice to be abusive,” she said.

A panel discussion will follow the documentary. Members of the audience should be aware that the documentary contains graphic content of domestic violence situations. Please be aware of potential triggers. Staff from Appalachian’s Counseling Center and members of OASIS will be in attendance should the need arise for their services.

The screening is sponsored by Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Sociology and the student organization Cultural Awareness and Student Engagement. To learn more about “Private Violence,” visit