A YOUNG producer from Weymouth has made a harrowing short film to give a voice to men suffering from domestic abuse.
Twenty year old Harry Davidge, who studied film at Budmouth College, teamed up with the charity ManKind Initiative to produce a short video about domestic abuse after reading an article in the Echo.
Harry wanted to highlight that men suffer domestic violence too, and often in silence. The ambitious producer felt too many campaign videos, including a local Dorset police campaign, only portrayed female victims.
Recruiting actors, he shot the film ‘Silence has a Sound’ on the Cobb in Lyme Regis.
Harry said: “The film was born to dismiss the double-standards held towards masculinity in our culture that prevent men suffering from domestic and relationship abuse identifying as victims and then coming forward.”
The video portrays what could be an every day quiet moment in a car between a couple, before shifting to a scene of abuse.
Harry said: “We didn’t want to alienate a specific gender. What was happening wasn’t coming from a place of hate – sometimes, by trying to hold on to someone you actually tear them apart.”
He added: “Far too often domestic abuse campaigns have just gone for shock value and centered on violence as a way of portraying how victims are suffering. I felt that a different approach was needed which artistically showed a wider range of emotion and consequences.
“It’s my hope that men who feel they’re in similar situations of relationship and domestic abuse can read that they are victims and come forward and seek help.”
According to statistics gathered by the ManKind Initiative, 500,000 men suffer abuse from their partners every year. 23 per cent of all victims who report to the police are male.
Mark Brooks, chairman of the ManKind Initiative, said: “It is vital that in helping male victims firstly realise they are in an abusive relationship and then to find a means of escaping that we accurately portray their situation.
“For many men, this abuse is not always about violence but a whole range of different emotional, psychological and controlling forms of abuse. The isolation in the video is a real form of controlling behaviour.
“This innovative video will chime with many men who are suffering and many who have successfully left.
“Our thanks to Harry and the team behind the film. We believe it will have a significant impact and really adds to the quality of domestic abuse videos aimed at encouraging men to get help and change society’s attitudes.”
The video can be found on the charity’s YouTube channel, website and social media channels by searching ‘Silence Has a Sound’.