Victims of domestic abuse are not alone

Swa animation

A new animated film has been created to help young women who are experiencing abuse during lockdown 

20th May 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Survivors of domestic abuse have created a new film for young women experiencing coercive control during lockdown.

Scottish Women’s Aid has today (Wednesday 20 May) launched a new short animated film for young women who are experiencing domestic abuse during lockdown. The film was produced by Media Co-Op and created in partnership with Scottish Women’s Aid’s young expert group Yello!. The panel of children and teenagers have all experienced domestic abuse in their own lives and they were involved in every part of the creative process.

The Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown has meant that perpetrators of domestic abuse now have further opportunities for surveillance and control as they know where their partner or ex-partner is likely to be at any given time.

Additionally, the closure of schools, as well as other community spaces where young people get to enjoy their freedom, means that they do not have access to some of the spaces where they feel safest and where they have access to trusted adults outside of their family.

The new animation highlights some of the ways that young people might be experiencing domestic abuse in their own relationships at this time, and it directs them to Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline for support.

Kirsty, one of the young experts from Yello!, said: “I want young people to watch this video and realise that they’re not alone; they’re not the only ones feeling like this, and I want this video to show them that there is help available and there are people that want to help them through this. Overall, I just want every young person out there to be happy and safe, and hopefully this video will shine light as to how to get help and feel better."

Sue McKellar, of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “The messages in this animation have come directly from young people we work with who were so keen to reach out to other children and young people to let them know they are not alone and there is help and support available to them when they choose to talk. Each young person has had a positive experience of being listened to by Women’s Aid staff and wanted to encourage others to reach out to the national helpline for support.

“The young people involved have been incredible - they have guided the animators from the very start, detailing what it feels like for young people during lockdown, what their daily lives are likely to involve and what other young people would respond to, proving that young people are the experts in their own experiences.”

Claire Dean, director of Media Co-Op, said: “We started with a virtual workshop, where the Media Co-op team listened to the young people telling us what would help others in a similar situation.  The overriding messages were “You’re not alone” and “We’re here for you.”

“After working on the script together to ensure it was realistic and relatable, the Yello! Group guided our animators at every stage creating the characters, directing the storyboards, choosing colour palette and voice over artists.

“The result is an authentic and vital peer-to-peer message that we hope will reach young people who desperately need help and support.  And all this was created despite the restrictions of the Covid-19 lockdown.”

The animations will also be translated and used in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Portugal as part of the Improving Justice in Child Contact project – a European funded partnership project seeking to enhance children's participation in decision-making. 

l Support is available from local Women’s Aid groups and Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline. The Helpline is available 24/7 and can be contacted by phone on 0800 027 1234, email or web chat.