Sometimes there is nothing better than to get in from work, school,college etc and put some mindless TV on so you can melt into the couch and forget everything that happened during the day. It’s good for you, sometimes.
Other times it’s nice to see when producers and scriptwriters come together to create something that will teach us a lesson, open our eyes and basically get us thinking.
Murdered by My Boyfriend did just that.
Domestic violence isn’t new to T.V by any means but that doesn’t mean that with every documentary, news story or interview regarding the subject, that it becomes easier to watch or easier to believe that it is happening all around the world, even as you read this.
In fact, at the end of the film, we are told that over a 4 year period, at least 229 women in Britain alone were killed by a violent partner.
The film is about a 17 year old bubbly, beautiful girl named Ashley who falls in love with an older boy named Reece. The film shows their violent four year relationship in which Ashley becomes pregnant after 3 months and is forced to keep the baby by Reece. The mental and physical violence escalades as the programme goes on, with things like Reece buys Ashley a new phone and demands constant pictures to know where she is.
The film ends with the violent killing of Ashley, with the use of an ironing board, while their young daughter cries in the next room.
Upsettingly, this story is based on a true one, with names changed to protect the innocent, which only makes it harder to watch.
Unfortunately, there will be people out there that will make comments like ‘well she should have just left him’ or ‘I would have left him if he dared touch me.’ But it isn’t that easy.
There is a part of the film where Ashley tries to leave Reece, after he attacks her in public. But his constant phone calls and unwanted visits to her house eventually cause her to give up hope and go back. It’s clear she doesn’t want to, but she sees no way out.
I ended up watching this programme at 3am this morning, meaning I only had about 5 hours sleep afterwards and it’s still playing on my mind now. To know that there are women and men being treated this way all over the country, all over the world.
If you know somebody who is suffering from domestic violence based on these symptoms, try to comfort them, let them know there is help.
• May be apologetic and make excuses for the abusive behaviour
• Has no friends or family – no access to a phone
• Is nervous about talking when her partner is there
• Tries to cover up bruises
• Fears for her life and for her children’s safety
• Makes excuses or avoids you on the street
• Is in denial and cannot see her risk
• Blames herself for the violent behaviour and “walks around on eggshells”
• Seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and is afraid
• Seems sick more often and misses work
• Seems defensive and angry
• Copes by using drugs or alcohol
• Is involved in another relationship
• Is in a custody battle for the children
Let them know that there is a way out, take note of these websites.http://www.salon.com/2013/11/21/this_incredibly_smart_domestic_violence_app_could_save_womens_lives
It may only have been an hour drama on BBC Three, a channel known for re-runs of Family Guy, American Dad and Russell Howard’s Good News, but somebody could have been watching thinking ‘that’s going to be me.’