To commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM), NO MORE has teamed with LA-based writer/director Maya Albanese, who created ‘Let It Out’, an empowering short film showcasing the champion boxer Melissa St. Vil in advance of her April 6th bout in Finland.
“When you get molested or beaten. It’s like a tattoo of shame. It messes you up mentally. And I just want other survivors going through this to know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed. They gotta let it all out. Scream. Share your stories. Let yourself be heard.”
– MELISSA ST. VIL
ABOUT ‘LET IT OUT’
Boxer Melissa St. Vil experienced abuse as a child and, in August 2009, she was assaulted by her then-trainer, who ultimately pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of battery and avoided jail time. Though cast as a powerless victim in many media accounts, Melissa was adamant that she wanted to share her experiences and to inspire other survivors to speak out, overcome past traumas and live positive, fulfilled lives. The resulting black & white short film created by writer/director Maya Albanese uses a poem written by Maya and narrated by Melissa to show an empowered athlete channeling her strength and positive energy into her passion, and encouraging others to do the same. The film is being released in conjunction with Melissa’s scheduled boxing match in Finland on April 6th at 1 pm ET/10 am PT, in which she seeks to take the WBC Super-featherweight title from Eva Wahlstrom.
Melissa, embodying the “Embrace Your Voice” theme of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, said, “When you get molested or beaten. It’s like a tattoo of shame. It messes you up mentally. And I just want other survivors going through this to know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed. They gotta let it all out. Scream. Share your stories. Let yourself be heard.”
Our gratitude to Melissa St. Vil for sharing her story, to writer/director Maya Albanese, producer Jonathan Biebl from Go Atticus, and cinematographer Catherine Goldschmidt for creating this powerful short film. Together, we can show survivors of sexual and domestic violence that they are not alone.
IF YOU NEED HELP
Remember, if you have experienced sexual violence and are seeking support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.565.HOPE(4673) to receive confidential help from a trained staff member.