THE BLOG

New Film Aims to Raise Awareness of Male Domestic Violence

04/06/2013 09:45 BST | Updated 03/08/2013 10:12 BST
Shutterstock

Recent reports suggest that about two in five of all victims of domestic abuse and violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are violated.

Because of that men assaulted by their partners are often not taken seriously or ignored by police, see their perpetrator go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women (4,000 for females in England and Wales compared to only 76 for men).

Male abuse and violence is a much under reported issue. Twice as many male victims (41%) than women (19%) do not tell anyone about the domestic abuse they are suffering.

A new film raising awareness of 'male-victim' domestic violence is currently in pre-production.

Flawless is a psychological drama, the simple story of a man trying to deal with a minor glitch in his apparently perfect life.

The story uses a real-life trivial anecdote to set the plot and create the problem for the protagonist to overcome. A deceptively easy solution becomes soon impossible to achieve, while the narrative slowly takes an unexpected turn and reveals our character's deep and very private struggle.

The story explores the concepts of fear, frustration and disillusionment that are often associated with a violent and abusive domestic environment.

Director Tito Sacchi explains 'I had intended to write a story about domestic abuse for some time. I was interested in exploring a difficult, abusive relationship and the suffering involved which is often more psychological than physical. Often the normal day-by-day life routine manages to successfully camouflage such extreme situations within layers of normality'.

The statistics support Sacchi's statement:

1. Partner abuse (non-sexual) was the most commonly experienced type of intimate violence among both women and men. 24% of women (3.9 million) and 13% of men (2.1 million) reported having experienced such abuse since the age of 16: for every three victims of partner abuse, two will be female and one will be male.

2. Both women and men with a long-term illness or disability were more likely to be victims of any domestic abuse in the last year (12.8% and 7.3% respectively), compared with those without a long- term illness or disability (4.6% and 6.1%).

3. More men in managerial and professional occupations (3.0%) suffered from partner abuse in 2011/12 than women with the same occupation (2.6%)

4. Men with children (3.0%) are as likely to be victims of partner abuse than men without children. The figure is the same for female victims (3.5%)

5. The number of women convicted of perpetrating domestic abuse has more than quadrupled in the past seven years from 806 (2004/05) to 3,965 (2010/11).

6. Twice as many male victims (28%) than women (13%) do not tell anyone about the domestic abuse they are suffering - highlighting the level of underreporting. Male victims are three times (10%) more likely not to tell the police they are victim than a female victim (29%) and only 4% of male victims will tell a health professional compared to 19% of female victims.

7. In 2011/12 - 17 men (one every 21 days) died at the hands of their partner or ex-partner compared with 88 women (one every four days)

On at least 120 occasions in 2010 a caller decided not to consider a refuge or safe house because they were too far away and would mean having to completely uproot their lives, often having to leave their children and their job behind.

Tito Sacchi continues 'As a writer I was looking for a simple idea that was able to both effectively disguise the cruel reality of the abusive relationship, but at the same time gradually reveal it to its audience.

'Flawless has the potential to engage the audience as it deals with that delicate balance very well. This makes the message even stronger and more compelling'.

The project already has support from Erin Pizzey, the domestic, and family violence victim advocate, and also from the ManKind Initiative, a national charity that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.

But Sacchi, and project producer Andreas Kubat are seeking further offers of support to ensure that work on the film goes ahead.

Says Kubat 'We would like offer people the opportunity to be part of this important film project and raise awareness of domestic and family violence in a very powerful way like only the film medium can'.

To find out how you can get involved in Flawless, visit

http://www.flawless-film.com/

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/116483/hosb0212.pdf

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_298904.pdf

http://www.mankind.org.uk/factsmalevicitms.html