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To mark the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the independent charity Victim Support in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight is letting people know that help and support is available to ‘Break the Routine’ of domestic abuse. 

Victim Support and the National Centre for Domestic Violence’s (NCDV) #breaktheroutine campaign highlights that on average, high-risk victims live with domestic abuse for over 2 years before getting specialist help. The campaign also features an online film based on a disturbingly captivating and physically intense dance backed by a haunting original composition by Ellie Goulding.

Created by J. Walter Thompson London and Biscuit Filmworks, for the National Centre for Domestic Violence and independent charity Victim Support, the dance is physically hard and emotionally intense. The dancers, real-life husband and wife team Jennifer White and Jason Kittelberger, mimic the savage physicality of domestic abuse in a bare house. At the end the man is finally stopped by an invisible barrier and although it is not the end of her struggle, the woman knows she is safe.

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The film aims to demonstrate that domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Examples of coercive control, which is also now classed as a criminal offence, include threatening behaviour, humiliation and intimidation, repeatedly making someone feel scared, blackmailing, taking money or controlling finances.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2014/15 also shows that 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and that 6.7million men and women have experienced domestic abuse at some point.

The study also shows that only 1 in 5 (21%) partner abuse victims report to the Police, and those that don’t report say that the abuse is not worth reporting, it was a private matter or that they don’t think the police can help.

The film was directed by two-time Directors Guild of America Director of the Year Noam Murro. Noam has directed some of the world’s greatest commercials and was named 1 of the 50 most influential people of the last 20 years by Creativity Magazine, and the UK’s #1 director by Campaign Magazine.

Ian Stiff, manager at independent charity Victim Support on the Isle of Wight said:

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“Domestic abuse isn’t just about physical violence. Emotionally abusive behaviour can be just as traumatising, and thousands of people are affected by this every year.

“People experiencing abuse can often feel trapped in their situation or that they are to blame for what’s happening, but this is not the case. We offer non-judgemental, free and confidential help and support to anyone affected by abuse, whether or not the police are involved. You can contact your local team in Hampshire and Isle of Wight on 02380 240 616.”

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