How to leave an abusive relationship

TX 2019 / 1 x 30" / Channel 5

A companion-piece to Channel 5’s arresting documentary The Abused, How to Leave An Abusive Relationship Safely is a compelling and important 30-minute film offering a comprehensive guide to those who need it most – or know someone who does.

 

On average two women a week are killed by their partners, and the frightening reality is that I can happen to anyone, “domestic abuse doesn’t recognise age, class, cultural background or education.”

 

In this film, we enlist the advice of 7 experts we hear the essential steps which would allow a victim of domestic abuse to prepare themselves emotionally and practically to walk away safely. We hear from a Policeman, GP, Independent Domestic Violence Advisor, Therapist, Refuge Manager and a Victim Support Manager who talk us through the ways and means of how to access the help and support available.

 

The most accessible faces of support can be the police – and even the GP, familiar faces who know you and your family personally, who can then pass victims onto a range of services, both emotional and practical, from counseling, to relocation and housing options and even to legal representatives.

 

Victim Support Officer Dee points out the very real practical steps which should be taken - including which documents are needed, and which personal items provide comfort, before someone leaves the home they share with an abusive partner. Refuge Manager Dee explains the reality of a refuge – that it can offer privacy and respite and even comfort both from other victims and specially trained professionals. Policeman Mike, who has personal experience of abuse from his own childhood, explains how the Police can provide community support on a continuing basis, including how restraining orders can provide respite to victims choosing to stay in their own homes.

 

We also gain important insight into the psychology behind the abuse. Controlling, manipulative behaviour and mental abuse are so often the precursor to the violence, with perpetrators often isolating their subjects from friends and family whilst enforcing an idea of their own worthlessness, making the abuse an almost-impossible cycle to break.

 

As enlightening as it is compassionate, this documentary offers insight, reassurance and practical help to victims of domestic abuse – in the hope that at least some of those watching are just a few steps away from a safer, better life.  In the words of Therapist Asalet, “you are not alone, this is not your fault, you are just one decision away from a completely different life, and you can live free from abuse”.