Domestic Abuse

Around 1 in 5 women experience domestic abuse sometime in their lives.  More on stats here. We need to change expectations about what is acceptable and not acceptable in our relationships.

Social Film Drama’s award-winning film ‘Leaving’ is about one woman’s attempt to leave an abusive relationship.  To view the trailer visit the project page.

Many different initiatives are in place across the country to reduce domestic abuse.  These include, to name but a few:

  • Specialist domestic abuse courts
  • Domestic abuse forums
  • Prevention programmes with young people
  • Training programmes

Social Film Drama and ‘Leaving’ can form an integral part of all these initiatives.

Drama speaks to the heart.  It creates the emotional and intellectual understanding on which other initiatives can be launched and made more effective.

The film speaks to many different audiences in many different ways.  You relate to the drama and the characters in a way that is appropriate for you, given who you are and your past experiences

‘Leaving’ is now gradually being rolled out in partnership with a number of organisations, who either have an interest in reducing domestic abuse or a direct statutory responsibility.

Circumstances do not allow a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but recent experience suggests the following avenues are worthy of consideration:

  • Initial screening of the film to the domestic abuse partnership forum
  • Preparation of an initial action plan for how the film is to be used, in discussion with the domestic abuse forum – covering training, awareness raising and campaigning for social change
  • Screening of the film as a ‘discussion opener’ at domestic abuse conferences
  • Distribution of copies of the film to a group of local communication and domestic abuse stakeholders and professionals – prior to any wider campaign being implemented
  • Creation of supporting materials, based on local services and resources, that provide advice and guidance for further action
  • Organising screenings with a wider group of stakeholder organisations, notably:
  • Health agencies – including PCTs, hospitals, GP groups,
  • Criminal Justice agencies – including police, probation, courts, magistrates
  • Local politicians – including councillors, MPs
  • Employers and business organisations
  • Local government social care leads
  • Voluntary care organisations
  • Education professionals
  • Schools and six form colleges

Please contact us direct for more information on how to use Leaving as part of an integrated awareness raising and change programme on domestic abuse.  

Screening Leaving creates a strong desire among the audience to find out more and take some appropriate supportive action.  So having invested time in organising a film screening, it is very important you are able to give very clear guidance on ‘next steps.’

Before screening the film, a warning needs to be given that the film may be powerfully affecting for people in the audience, particularly those with some personal history of domestic abuse; and advice given on how people can access suitable care and support.


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