Important Women Resources

Sexual Violence Resources

Unveiling the Silence:
NO! The Rape Documentary Study Guide


Created by Salamishah Tillet, Ph.D.
and Rachel Afi Quinn

With the Creative and Editorial Direction
of Aishah Shahidah Simmons,
Producer, Writer and Director of NO!
The Rape Documentary

Graphic Design by Kavita Rajanna
NO! Logo Design by Traci McKindra

Funded by the Ford Foundation

A tool for educators and workshop facilitators. This study guide may be used within a workshop, class session, or semester-long course. You may decide to screen the documentary film in its entirety or use segments integrated into a broader course addressing race, gender, and sexuality. Viewing the film in segments allows for discussion related to themed sections. You may choose to work through the study guide chapter by chapter, or use it as a jumping off point for student-led exercises or longer activities.

A tool for everyone. Our hope is that this study guide will be used as a companion to the film NO! by all individuals who are taking action in their communities to educate themselves and each other about rape and sexual assault. The film will get conversations going in your communities and on your campuses. You might host a screening of the film as a one-time event in your dorm, classroom, church, mosque, rape crisis center, shelter, correctional facility, living room, or in a community space, and facilitate a group discussion immediately following the screening or in the days following.

This 100-page guide includes:

• Producer/Director Statement

• Summaries of the different DVD chapters of NO! The Rape Documentary

• Excerpts from the transcribed testimonies of rape survivors and quotes from the documentary to spark discussion

• Myths and facts about rape and sexual assault so participants in discussions have relevant information regarding the truth about sexual violence and its impact

• A glossary of terms useful for talking about sexual assault in the African-American community

• Discussion questions about the subject of sexual assault to promote positive and informative conversations for participants

• Worksheets and handouts for participants to use to reflect on what they think they know about rape and sexual violence in their communities

• Additional essays on the role of religion in violence against women and the role of dance in healing sexual violence

• Production stills from the documentary.

• A bibliography of books, journals and articles on sexual violence

• A detailed listing of national organizations that address all forms of sexual violence

The entire content of this guide is protected under copyright law. Please feel free to use any part of this guide as long as proper credit is attributed to the source of your information.

To download your free copy of Unveiling the Silence: NO! The Rape Documentary Study Guide,


For those experiencing violence in the United States, please contact one of the following numbers:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE (24 Hour Confidential Rape Hotline)
  • National Victim Center: 800-FYI-CALL (394-2255)
    Operating 8:30AM-5:30PM EST, the NVC hotline helps locate assistance in your community if you have been the victim of a violent crime.

  1. Greetings ~

    I know most of you do not live in Philadelphia . However, I’m sure there at least some of you who know folks who live and/or work in Philadelphia . If you do, please spread the word and encourage folks to attend the press conference and equally if not more importantly encourage folks to voice their opinions at the polls, in Philadelphia , on Tuesday, November 6, 2007.

    THE FOLLOWING IS BEYOND OUTRAGEOUS and Judge Teres Carr Deni should not be allowed to serve another day in court.

    In Struggle,

    ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********


    Thursday November 1, 2007


    Outside Municipal Court ( Criminal Justice Center )

    1301 Filbert St , Philadelphia

    Monday October 29, 2007

    To the Editor:

    We were appalled to learn that on Oct 4 Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni dropped all rape and assault charges in the case of a woman gang-raped at gunpoint. Because the woman was working as a prostitute, Judge Deni decided that she could not have been raped and changed the charge to “theft of services.” Deni later said that this case “minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”

    As groups organizing against rape and in support of victims, we could not disagree more. All women have the right to protection from violence. The idea that any woman is “asking for it” is a lie that we fought for decades to destroy. It is especially offensive to see it revived by a female judge, who reached her position as a result of the women’s movement and is now using her power to deny justice to the most vulnerable women.

    Deni told Daily News columnist Jill Porter that the victim met another client before reporting the rape. We have learned that this is completely untrue; the transcript of the hearing proves it. For a judge to make a false (and self-serving) accusation against a victim in the press, in addition to her prejudiced and reckless contempt for women’s safety, confirms that she is unfit to serve. The outcry following Deni’s decision shows how out of step with public opinion she is and that most people believe that prostitute women deserve the same protection from violence that we all have a right to expect.

    No woman is safe when prostitute women aren’t safe. Serial rapi sts and murderers often target prostitute women knowing that they are more likely to get away with it. Labeled criminals by the prostitution laws, women are less likely to report violence for fear of arrest themselves. When sex workers do report, the violence is often dismissed. Here, the same man and his friends gang-raped another woman four days later. Decisions like Deni’s are a green light for further attacks.

    The victim in this case was a Black single mother with a young child. In Philadelphia , where one in four people lives in poverty and welfare has been almost completely dismantled, many women have been forced into prostitution to survive. This should not make them fair game for rapi sts .

    We are glad that the District Attorney is pursuing the original rape charges. The public can make our voices heard in the November 6 election: vote “No” on the retention of Teresa Carr Deni as Judge of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia.

    Mary Kalyna

    On behalf of

    Global Women’s Strike

    Philadelphia , PA


    Women Against Rape

    US PROStitutes Collective

    Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP)

    Legal Action for Women

    Every Mother is a Working Mother Network

    Wages Due Lesbians

    Payday Men’s Network

  2. I am a white woman who is in solidarity with women of color and all women who have survived violence. I especially resonate with the last line of The Litany, which talks about how we were “not supposed to survive.” I know what this is…I have my own story of violence and how it shaped my sense of self. Not until my 50’s did I realize that a fundamental, physical, mental, emotional and energetic sense of fear, a feeling that I did not deserve to live was the filter through which I saw the world, and more importantly, my place in it. Maybe one day I’ll talk about it in more detail…mine is a hard case to make because I’m talking about childhood abuse. However, I’m not being glib when I say that it is all connected. I wonder what it will take for women to live freely…I wonder what a different world it would be…very truly yours,MadamaAmbi,Interview4Obama,ArtistsWriters4ZeitgeistObama

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