Rule of Thumb

Order of Protection

A film by Jill Evans Petzall

1989 | 22 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99025


A sensitive film which explores domestic violence through the perspective of women who have left abusive relationships. Five women from different backgrounds discuss their ordeals and the concrete steps they have taken to eradicate fear and violence from their daily lives. Supplemented by testimonies from a woman judge, a police officer and a former abuser, this empowering film offers clear, concise instructions on obtaining an order of protection and other support services.

"*** This thorough and well constructed work succeeds in informing the public about both prevention and intervention in regard to domestic violence. This project addresses its important and disturbing topic so well that it should be shown on every television station and in every schoolroom across the country." - Jury Comments, American Film and Video Association


"A provocative, creative video that clearly evokes a profound emotional response to the desperate situation of women affected by the cycle of violence."

Richard Teitelman Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

"Excellent...Sensitively and sympathetically illustrates the typical range of experiences that battered women encounter."

Joan Zorza National Center on Women & Family Law


  • Emmy Award Nomination
  • Hometown USA Video Festival, Best Social Service Video


Jill Evans Petzall

Producer, Jill Evans Petzall is a nationally acclaimed innovator in video advocacy for women and children. An award-winning videomaker and video artist, she focuses on social-issue themes, and produces work which represents people not usually heard in mainstream media. She says, "My work seeks to find a balance between what I mean to say about the world --and my means of saying it."

For the past 18 years, her videos have been shown on public television, cable stations and in festival circuits throughout the United States, as well as featured screenings in museums, art galleries, universities, and social service agencies across the country. Her work has been honored with numerous awards including several Emmys, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award (CPB), an ITVA Golden Reel, three National Educational Media Network Awards, and a Cable ACE nomination. She works exclusively for not-for-profit agencies.

Her documentary topics include the legal rights of abused women, Rule of Thumb; the Boat People from So. Vietnam, S.O.S. Stories of Survival; the poet, T.S. Eliot, In Different Voices.....; a video art piece on the demolition of the Berlin Wall, November Nine; an animated video promoting family literacy: Once Upon A Book; a documentary on the former Maestro of the St. Louis Symphony: Slatkin! A Symphony; a historical look at the first U.S. foster-parents plan; and Veronica's Story, an experimental art film based on the writings of an abused teenager. Petzall recently completed the video-poem Dedication, about the work of women around the world; currently she is producing a documentary about the special needs of children with mothers in prison, When the Bough Breaks. This production has been awarded a grant from the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media.

Her work has been shown or is collected at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York; Museum Of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Art Institute Of Chicago Video Data Bank; Saint Louis Art Museum; Churchill Memorial Museum; Goethe Institute, Los Angeles; (Afi) American Film Institute; Helen Hunt Art Gallery, St. Louis, Forum For Contemporary Art, Mint Museum, Charlotte; and Dallas Museum Of Art.

Petzall is on the adjunct faculties of Washington University (Broadcast Journalism), Webster University (Media Studies), and University of MO, St. Louis, (Women and Gender Studies), all in St. Louis, MO, where she is based. (09/09)


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