October begins with two programs primarily about women at the Westfield Memorial Library. On Wednesday, October 2 at 1:00 p.m., a film will be shown to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month and later that day at 7:00 p.m., a program about Civil War women will be presented. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

The documentary “Private Violence” explores a simple but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is in her own home.

Through the eyes of two survivors—Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for the crimes committed against her at the hands of her estranged husband, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate who seeks justice for all women—audiences bear witness to the complicated and complex realities of intimate partner violence.

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Private Violence begins to shape powerful, new questions that hold the potential to change our society: Why does he abuse? Why do we turn away? How do we begin to build a future without domestic violence?

“Civil War Women of Compassion, Courage and Grit,” presented by Rich Rosenthal, tells the story of survival during wartime—not from cannons and bullets—but of life itself. The women who are left at home without adequate means of support must still provide the basic necessities of food and shelter and impart their values to their children.

New Jersey's own Cornelia Hancock, rejected as a nurse by Dorothea Dix because she is too pretty, defies her, and goes to Gettysburg to assist the wounded soldiers and stays through the Civil War.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke, defies army red tape to care for “her boys,” the wounded, setting up hospitals and kitchens, even following General Sherman through the mountains of Georgia on the way to Atlanta. Sara Pryor, living through the privation and destruction of the South, still has the courage to defy General Sheridan and demand rations for the starving women and families in her community.

Mr. Rosenthal has lectured on numerous historical subjects and is President of the North Jersey Civil War Round Table, and is a Board member and one of the founding members of the North Jersey American Revolution Round Table.

The programs are free and open to all. To register, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, click on the Online Calendar, or call 908.789.4090 option 0.

Founded in 1879, the Westfield Memorial Library—the community’s destination for discovery and ideas—engages minds, entertains spirits and facilitates lifelong learning for people of all ages. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

For more information call 908.789.4090, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, and sign up for the monthly e-newsletter “Library Loop,” or stop by the library at 550 East Broad Street for a copy of the award-winning quarterly newsletter “Take Note.”