Making a drama out of Domestic Abuse

It’s the all-too-hidden side of a relationship, the seemingly charming partner who is abusive, controlling and violent behind closed doors. It’s also difficult to talk about or unearth, as the victims often seek to excuse or cover up their abuse through fear or embarrassment.

domestic AbuseWhich is why, as family lawyers specialising in divorce, we welcome dramas such as “Murdered by my Boyfriend”. While the title might sound like a tabloid headline, that’s just the point. This isn’t fantasy, this is the reality for literally millions of people in the UK.


TV Drama, Real Life Story

The TV drama “Murdered by my Boyfriend”* was first aired in June 2014 and repeated in January 2015 It tells the dramatised real-life story of Ashley, a bubbly bright 17 year old who met an older man at a party. Once they were in a relationship, he was controlling every aspect of her life, including monitoring her movements when she was at work. It was harrowing to watch Ashley’s self-confidence diminishing as the control escalated into violence, yet time after time she would give in to his harassment and return to the relationship.

Dramas like this highlight the human stories behind the already surprising statistics: 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. According to the Office for National Statistics, 1.4million women and 700,000 men suffered domestic abuse in 2014 alone. That’s the equivalent of 28% of women and 15% of men in the UK. What’s more, most victims suffer up to 35 assaults before calling the police.


Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate

Domestic violence is not confined to any one age group, demographic, ethnic or gender, and isn’t necessarily always based on physical abuse. 

As the support charity Living Without Abuse (LWA) website says:

“Domestic abuse involves the misuse of power and is based on a range of controlling behaviours which can include, but is not limited to, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse, where the abuser is known to that person through an existing or past relationship. Domestic abuse can occur in any relationship, including same-sex relationships and within family networks.”

How LGFL can help

First of all, if you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse, seek help now. Pick up the phone and call any of the helplines listed at the end of this article, call the police if you have suffered recent physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse, or call 999. As soon as possible, remove yourself and your family from any immediate danger. 
Once you are safe, and want to move forward with a divorce, call us. We will listen with sympathy and empathy, to help you move forward and help secure your financial position. As experienced family lawyers, we will always put the interests of you and your children first in any proceedings. Our out-of town legal offices are private and very discreet, offering a safe and secure place to discuss your options. 

Domestic Violence Help:

  • 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • For male victims of domestic abuse: Mens Advice Line 0808 801 0327 or Mankind 01823 334244
  • For LGBT victims: Broken Rainbow 0300 999 5428
  • National Stalking Helpline: 0300 636 0300
  • Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence: 0844 8044 999 

Websites include: 

NE Hampshire Domestic Abuse Forum Directory

This is an excellent guide with practical advice for victims of abuse, including measures to take in case you need to leave quickly, and an extensive list of local support services. You can read it or download it here