Behind Closed Doors

Saturday October 23 at 9.30pm AEDT

Part of Must Watch and the White Ribbon Programming

In this remarkable film, BAFTA award winning Director Anna Hall goes into uncharted territory, finding and talking with children who have witnessed domestic abuse. There’s Ollie who’s 8 and saw his mum’s head being slammed in a door; there’s Zara who’s 13 who witnessed domestic abuse for the first 8 years of her life before her mum finally left her dad. Zara is confused and missed her half-sister when her parents split up – so one day she ran off with her dad without telling her mum, something she now bitterly regrets. And there’s Kirstie whose stepdad murdered her mum. Working with charities for over two years, this film has painstakingly worked with the children and their families to explore the importance of listening to the child and never ever thinking that just because a child’s not in the room, that they don’t hear or understand what’s going on. Cat Lewis, Social Worker, Oxfordshire Social Services says: “I think you need to realise that even if you’re having an argument and there’s no physical violence, your kids will know. And lots of parents say, “Oh they weren’t in the room, they were asleep, they didn’t hear it, they didn’t know”. They did. They know. Children are very very in tune to what is happening around them and we lose a lot of that intuition as we become adults and life gets in the way. If you are at that stage of your relationship where you cannot communicate properly, then seriously you need to think about not being in that relationship. Because your children’s lives will be affected forever.” One in five children in the UK have lived with an adult who is, or has been a domestic abuser. All the latest research shows that witnessing domestic abuse in childhood affects a child forever.