The Dell Medical School’s Health Disparities Team partnered with Huston-Tillotson University to screen a pilot episode of a docu-series on surviving sexual abuse and domestic violence.
The pilot episode of the docu-series, “Our Journey Alive,” was debuted at Huston-Tillotson and follows the lives of domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors in Austin and Waco.
“My main inspiration for creating this docu-reality series was, as a survivor myself, we rarely see survivors portrayed in any type of television unless it’s kind of sensationalized, unless it was a major case or a celebrity that you hear about,” said Sophia Strother, the series creator, writer and director. “But as a survivor I want to see others like myself that have thrived after the incident.”
The Dell Medical School and Huston-Tillotson University have been in a partnership for about a year and a half in order to provide health services to underserved residents in East Austin and Travis County.
“It’s a very important topic, and it’s one that we see when we think of health disparities,” said Virginia Brown, director of health disparities at the Dell Medical School. “So it’s really important to be able to get to young people, to engage them in this kind of conversation and help them understand what healthy relationships are all about and how to get there.”
According to Strother, 10 million men and women in the U.S. are affected by abuse each year. Strother wanted to create this series to promote awareness on the hard reality survivors have to face after the abuse.
“We really wanted to portray that survivors come from all walks of life,” Strother said. “You can be rich or poor, no matter what nationality, it happens to everyone, men, women alike. So we really just wanted to have an outlet where we could portray that honesty and … show different things that can be therapeutic in your everyday life.”
Carolyn Thomas, a domestic violence survivor and one of the cast members of “Our Journey Alive,” said as a survivor she wants people to know there are ways of getting through abuse.
“The reason why I joined Sophia on our ‘Our Journey Alive’ is get the message out that you can move forward after [going through] domestic violence,” Thomas said. “It’s really important for me to … try to save lives and get them out of these relationships.”