Recently I have been doing some research for work by watching lots of TV programmes and films (tough life, I know). But the one thing that all of these TV programmes and films have in common is that they feature a domestic violence story line. Not quite the uplifting day at work I was looking for.
I watched as ‘Little Mo’ from Eastenders suffered physical and emotional violence from Husband Trevor. Over the last few months I’ve been creeped out by Alice from Indian Summers’ super controlling husband tightened his grip. I looked away whilst Hannah in the film Tyrannosaur (played superbly by Olivia Colman) was violently sexually assaulted by her husband.. And of course I listened as Helen from the Archers’ abuse from her husband escalated last month. I’ve also followed the stories of Ashley in Murdered by my Boyfriend, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Nancy in Oliver and Laura in Sleeping with the Enemy – all of whom are victims of domestic abuse.
I watched and I noticed that ALL of these characters have something else in common…
Their abuse only ended through murder. In each of the story lines either the victim or the perpetrator ends up dead at the hands of the other one (with the exception of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, whose perpetrator meets their demise at the hands of a florist and a giant plant). This realisation disappointed me because it sends the message that the only way out of domestic abuse is death. It tells victims that tragedy is inevitable, that a good life after domestic abuse is not possible and that freedom is like the unattainable pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
But this does not have to be the case. SATEDA help 100s of people every year become free from domestic abuse (without needing to hire an assassin). Yes it involves courage. Yes it is a hard road to walk. Yes it may take a while. But it is possible and unlike the story lines in the media, it is the most common outcome when people access help and support. Death is not the only way out.
In a few months time we will be launching ‘From Behind Closed Doors’, a campaign that uses the stories in the media to highlight the reality of domestic abuse and to enable more people to access the help and support they need to breakfree from their abusive relationships.
To be kept up to date with this campaign, please sign up to our mailing list.
To help us to provide more ways out of domestic abuse, please donate to SATEDA via our just giving page.