May 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Sheryl Sandberg brings "Screams Before Silence," a film about Oct. 7, to Capitol

Sheryl Sandberg in "Screams Before Silence"

In "Screams Before Silence," Sheryl Sandberg visits Kfar Aza, an Israeli kibbutz. Photo: Ran Mendelson for Kastina Communications

Sheryl Sandberg spent four days in Israel filming interviews for a documentary about sexual violence during the terrorist attack of Oct. 7, because she felt the issue was getting too little attention.

Why it matters: The former Facebook COO is using her celebrity and access to decision-makers to call attention to an issue she says "feminists and progressive groups and human rights activists have fought for, for 30 years."

Driving the news: A bipartisan screening of the film, "Screams Before Silence," will be held for lawmakers and others at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday evening.

  • Hosts include Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

What they're saying: In an interview with Axios, Sandberg — head of her Lean In foundation, and a founder of Sandberg Bernthal Venture Partners — urged people "to stand against ... sexual violence, no matter what you think of anyone else."

  • "You can believe that what's happening in Gaza is a tragedy," she said. "I believe that what's happening in Gaza is a tragedy, and still stand firmly against the sexual violence on Oct. 7."

Context: Pramila Patten, the UN's special representative on sexual violence in conflict, reported in March that her team found "clear and convincing information" that some hostages held by Hamas "have been subjected to various forms of conflict-related sexual violence."

  • Some accounts of sexual violence on Oct. 7 have been disputed.
  • Hamas "denies its gunmen sexually assaulted women during the attacks or mistreated female hostages they took to Gaza," the BBC reports.

Watch a 1-minute trailer.

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