Trapped: A Short Film to Raise Awareness of Domestic Abuse

I’ve been searching for an advert/short film to highlight the concept of domestic abuse. I found this one and thought it was definitely worth a share. I chose this one as it highlights the different dynamics of domestic abuse instead of focusing on physical abuse in isolation.

If you live in fear, if you are governed by the power and control of your partner, then it is highly likely that you are included in the 1 in 4 women that experience abuse in their lifetime.

Here’s what I picked up from this video:

  • Love – what does this mean? In situations of abuse, this can mean having sex when you’re told, how you’re told and with who you’re told. For some survivors of domestic abuse, their conflicting feelings are very difficult to manage – often they say that they still love the person and it’s important to acknowledge that you can love someone and hate their abusive behaviours.

  • Children – We never see Tom in this video but he is in the home, he tells his Uncle that he hates his Mum for making him live with Lee. In 75-90% of domestic abuse instances, children are in the same or next room – this will, without a doubt be impacting the emotional well-being of any child living on an abusive household. Pregnancy is sometimes also used as a means of control; to create dependency so the victim feels as though she won’t be able to manage on her own.

  • Honeymoon Period – most relationships have a honeymoon period at the beginning of the relationship and this is also often the case in situations domestic abuse as the perpetrator will introduce his controlling behaviour subtly. Then, once the abuse starts, what follows an incident is often apologies, gifts and promises where what has happened is buried. Waiting for ‘the good days’ can represent after an incident of abuse but also keep the victim stuck, waiting to see  glimpse of the person they fell in-love with.

  • Family and Friends – in this video we see the woman’s brother is pressuring his sister to leave. This clearly comes from a place of love and worry but it also highlights the pressure victims are under; to meet the needs of the perpetrator, their family and themselves. Whilst isolation can be created by the perpetrator directly, it can also happen when friends and family can no longer cope with seeing their loved one being hurt – they may say ‘if you go back, I can’ be there for you anymore’. A survivor or victim of domestic abuse needs to be supported, needs to feel that it is the right time for her as the average times a woman will leave an abusive relationship is 7; before she leaves for good.

  • After she’s left – it takes time to recover from domestic abuse, one of the women describe how a refuge helped her get her life back in order. Benefits, belongings, relationships, self esteem and confidence are stripped away as a result of the coercive, persistent abuse; be mindful that this will not happen over-night. Perhaps most importantly, it is vital to be aware that it is at the point of leaving an abusive relationship, that the victim is most at risk. Currently, in the UK, 2 women a week are killed by their present or former partner. When a woman leaves, she strips away the perpetrator’s power and control resulting in the need for these to be heightened and the behaviour more severe.

  • Attribution – why are perpetrator of abuse abusive? Alcohol, stress, difficult upbringings and drugs are often used to make sense of what is happening. This depersonalises the behaviour and the ability of all people to make a choice. If you use a substance for example, and learn that you hurt the people you love whilst under the influence, there is a choice as plain as the nose on your face to change; therefore perpetrators choose not to change. Loss of control is also not a reason, but an excuse. Domestic abuse is often behind closed doors, bruises often are where people can’t see them, the perpetrators are seen as charming and lovely people; is this really a description of loss of control?

  • Forms of Abuse – this video highlights the different types of abuse: emotional and psychological abuse, financial abuse, physical and sexual abuse, isolation and gender stereotyping.

You may find my blog ‘I Thought an Apple was an Orange‘ useful if you would like to read more on Domestic Abuse; but here’s the video.