She Survived

“She Survived” is a short documentary about the domestic violence epidemic across the globe, focusing primarily on violence against women. It is inspired by the director’s own experience with violence in her home as a child. 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and this film aims to inspire discussion and action to stop this toxic culture.

  • Judi Polanco
  • Marqui Smith
    Domestic Violence Survivors
  • Jennifer Medina
    Domestic Violence Survivors
  • Anastasia Korolkova
    Domestic Violence Survivors
  • Victoria Andreola
    Domestic Violence Survivors
  • Andrew Porter
  • Judi Polanco
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 25 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Judi Polanco

Judi Polanco was born in New York City. The only girl in a herd of brothers, she struggled with her identity from a very young age and strove to rise above her situation. Always the tomboy, she fought against the gender stereotypes enforced on her, refusing to become a “housewife”, as the rest of the women in her family had. She grew up as one of the boys and to this day, her brothers will say in a crowd of males, “You can talk in front of her. She’s just one of us.”

Rising above her upbringing, Judi majored in Forensic Psychology. As a student, she worked full-time at a New York law firm to support herself and her studies, refusing to give in. She believes that no matter how rough life gets, there is always something to be grateful for.

Judi’s experiences with racism, gender bias, and domestic violence inspired her to direct her first documentary, She Survived, which touches on violence against women. Judi is now a wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. She is also a children’s book author and a Human Resources professional with over 10 years of experience in a variety of industries.

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Director Statement

This film was inspired by my own experience with domestic violence during my childhood. The film’s narrative will follow the harrowing and heartbreaking stories from survivors of domestic violence, who still have scars from the men who hurt them.

The goal of the film is to inspire change in the hearts of viewers. It hopes to bring awareness and give the audience guidelines to follow in order to prevent any more pain. "It's time to stop the cycle of violence by breaking the silence."