Challenging attitudes & preconceptions surrounding domestic abuse

Our latest video was produced for the DASH charity (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) to raise awareness about the emotional impact and scale of domestic abuse and to open people’s eyes to the hidden nature of abuse.

The statistics are shocking - 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, 25% of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse and 2 women are killed every week.  However, behind these statistics there are many myths and stereotypes about domestic abuse.  There are also many preconceptions on what domestic violence actually is and what sort of person both the abused and the abuser are.  Our perceptions tend to be biased by domestic violence myths; they are perpetuated by the media and are unrelated to the reality or the extent of Domestic Abuse.  In fact, domestic abuse can take many forms and affect people from all walks of life.

We wanted to produce a video which broke down the stereotypes of a typical domestic abuse victim whilst also increasing understanding in the nature of domestic abuse.  The video is set within one family’s social media profile pages. Posts of photos and comments show a smart middle class family, seemingly happy and successful. Through the narrative of the posts we start to see how he (the perpetrator) is working hard to portray a positive family image. Subtle comments on her page give an insight into her experiences and emotions and the posts start to show both his controlling & intimidating behaviour and her lack of confidence.

People who have been abused often say that it was the emotional abuse that had the most effect on them. Being constantly undermined, criticised and humiliated can turn someone who was once confident and outgoing into a nervous, anxious person. We wanted to highlight this form of abuse and help viewers to identify some of the warning signs. The posts and audio portray the intimidating emotional abuse that she is living with ‘behind the profile’ and the audio & visual mismatch communicates the hidden nature of domestic violence.

The final screen in the video includes interactive options to see a short video on how DASH makes a difference. Jayne, Head of The Dash Charity introduces the video by identifying key issues those living with domestic abuse face and how DASH work to give emotional and practical support to those affected.

The videos will mainly be used to raise awareness in the community but they will also be used in fundraising presentations to show the impact that domestic abuse has on families and the positive difference that the DASH charity is making.

By showing what goes on ‘behind the profile’, we hope the videos encourage viewers to see the scale of the problem that lies behind closed doors, help to challenge preconceptions and encourage more victims to seek support.  We also hope that the video helps viewers to recognise the signs that a family member, colleague or friend is suffering from domestic violence and become inspired to intervene and support them. Essentially, by subtly highlighting the difference DASH makes this video will inspire viewers to connect with and support the fantastic work DASH do.

It was wonderful to work with DASH and they gave us some very positive feedback.  Becky Spiller, Head of Services at DASH said:

'It's been a great experience working with Purple Flame to design and develop a piece of work to help challenge some of the many stigmas and myths we encounter in the course of our work. Thanks Phil and Kate for your creativity, responsiveness and flexibility to ensure we have a unique and thought provoking DVD for us to use to raise awareness of our cause and the services of the Dash Charity’.


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