Behind Closed Doors - A 'must watch' documentary on domestic abuse is being aired on BBC1 at 9pm Monday 14 March. Narrated by Olivia Coleman it gained unprecedented access to Thames Valley Police’s domestic abuse team, offering rare insight into what is described as 'the most common violent crime to take place in the home'.
The documentary follows three incredibly brave women, Jemma, Sabrina and Helen, who waived their rights to anonymity and allowed the film-makers to show what it’s like from the moment they dial 999 right through to when their case finally gets to court.
The narrator Actor Olivia Colman, who has played a character who suffered domestic abuse, readily admits unless you have been suffered from domestic violence, or been close to someone who has, it can be difficult to understand why a woman doesn’t simply walk out on a partner who is abusive towards her. Olivia said, “Before I started looking into any of this, I was probably one of those people who would have gone: 'why don’t you just leave? You can’t possibly love someone who hits you!’,” Colman admits. “Now I know so much more. In those situations, you’re not strong enough to know what love is, or to think you deserve proper love. And it’s all so horribly secretive.”
Olivia stated that a close girlfriend of hers was in an abusive relationship. “It never came to physical blows, but I watched her just diminish: she didn’t believe in herself, it was psychological damage which in some ways can be just as great. And she didn’t want to 'let him down’ by talking about it with anyone. That’s one of the ways in which the perpetrators have such power over their victims. After ten years of being told, 'you’re ugly, you’re no good, nobody could ever love you or want to be with you’, you start to think: 'God, how fortunate I am to have someone love me and want to be with me at all’.
Thames Valley Police will host an hour-long webchat from 10pm about domestic abuse, at thamesvalley.police.uk.
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