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Project Leave Them: A Music Video PSA

Seattle-based band St. Paul de Vence collaborated with photographer Robin Roemer on a video project featuring survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Consultants on the project include non-profits RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and Darkness to Light . Lead-singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Doerr’s haunting and emotional song “Leave Them” is off their second album “Farther than Light.” The lyrics tell a personal story of childhood sexual assault. Roemer, a longtime friend of Doerr, conceptualized and directed the video.

The Concept: The piece, which features adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse screaming underwater, hopes to serve as a social impact campaign. The concept is a reminder of how sexual assault survivors are often silenced by a culture that ignores their voices and a justice system that has failed them countless times. 

The video ends with a sense of hope as subjects emerge from the water into the light to help convey the message that child sexual abuse is preventable. The National Sexual Assault crisis line as well as the websites for RAINN and Darkness to Light end the video, directing the audience to seek out further information.

Thank-Yous: Project Leave Them was entirely crowdfunded and made possible with the generous support of donors as well as companies like Panavision and HydroFlex. This ambitious slow-motion underwater piece was shot on a Phantom Flex at a private residence in Los Angeles. The piece was produced by Roemer’s production company Scheme Machine Studios. Most of the participants are part of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau. All subjects are survivors of childhood sexual violence.