UK: 'Real love' domestic violence films come to UK's biggest shopping centre

From Monday 7 February the organisation is showing four specially created short films – collectively called Real Love – in the gigantic Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent.

The minute-long films – designed to be watched by busy shoppers – feature a father who fails to see that his daughter is being abused by her husband, an employer who ignores an employee’s domestic violence injuries, a neighbour who befriends a violently abusive man while overlooking the suffering of the man’s partner, and a woman who can’t comprehend that she is being abused.

The films are part of the organisation’s Problem? What Problem? campaign to highlight complacency among the British public about violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. The campaign is particularly targeting men aged 18-30.

The films will be shown continuously in Bluewater for one week before being rolled out across the UK and released as a campaigning DVD.

Amnesty International’s campaign is responding to high levels of public complacency over domestic violence.

An ICM survey in 2003, for example, showed that almost one third (30%) of men believed that domestic violence is acceptable in some circumstances, that one in five men would not call the police even when they knew someone was being mistreated by their partner, and that more people (74%) would report a person for kicking or mistreating their dog than for kicking or mistreating their partner (53%).

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

"With two Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights a week dying every week through domestic violence we need new ways of communicating the simple truth that it’s always wrong to ignore domestic violence.

"Research shows that complacency about domestic violence is shockingly widespread in Britain and these short films give a clear message: everyone has a right and a responsibility to bring domestic violence to an end.

"We want to challenge attitudes amongst the population generally, but a particular focus for us is getting the Real Love message across to young men who have been shown to tolerate domestic violence to a marked degree.

"These films are powerful and shocking but they are necessary to jolt us out of our complacency over domestic violence.

"Family members, work colleagues and friends and neighbours can support abused Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights by bringing the problem from out of the shadows and into the open, thereby helping prevent future injuries and loss of life."

The true extent of domestic violence in the UK is not known, but surveys have indicated that there are over half a million incidents in England and Wales every year. The emergency services receive a domestic violence call every 60 seconds and on average two Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are killed every single week.

Recent British Crime Survey figures indicate that there are 13 million incidents involving domestic violence against females annually and last year the Crown Prosecution Service reportedly pursued 30,000 cases.

Sandra Horley, OBE, Chief Executive of leading UK domestic violence charity Refuge, said:

"Refuge has long campaigned for domestic violence to be recognised as a crime. We have a duty and responsibility to challenge society’s attitudes to the problem.

"It used to be taboo to talk about domestic violence - now it should be taboo not to talk about it. Only then will we ensure the safety of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and Children's rights and give them their basic human right – to live a life free from violence and fear."

Nicola Harwin, CBE, Director of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid said:

"Amnesty’s International’s campaign will help challenge old attitudes and raise awareness of domestic violence, because everyone can do something to help stop domestic violence.

"We know that millions of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights live with the fear of violence every day and yet many will tell no-one, suffering in silence because they are too afraid or ashamed to reveal their abuse."

The films are the second phase of Amnesty International’s ongoing awareness-raising campaign. In November the organisation launched a poster campaign on the London Underground which saw images of bruised and battered Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights deployed in a mock advertisement for a new range of make-up (Cachez) for "bruising relationships".

Amnesty International has worked with the creative agency Karmarama over the Problem? What problem? campaign and the short films were directed by acclaimed director Billie Eltringham, director of the television drama The Long Firm.

Last year Amnesty International launched a major international Women's rights's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights campaign and the human rights organisation is working closely with UK Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s organisations like Refuge and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Aid to help combat violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Britain.

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