In order to raise awareness and inform the public and professionals about the issues faced by survivors of domestic violence and abuse this was felt to be an important part of the process. However, the survivors needed to tell their story in their own unabridged way. To achieve this it was thought that pre-recorded interviews would be the most appropriate method. This offered survivors the opportunity to participate in a calm, safe and non-pressurised environment, with support available if they became upset or distressed.
How was the project funded?
Babergh Domestic Violence & Abuse Forum was approached with this idea, by the Chair, Cathy Press, and gave their agreement to proceed with the project as they recognised it was an important initiative. Planning of the project began in 2004 but initially it was difficult to attract sufficient funding. We overcame this hurdle with funds received from the Babergh Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnership, Suffolk Foundation and generous support from two County Councillors via their locality budgets. In addition we raised funds through the Forum’s own initiatives. Research and filming began in January 2006 through to May 2007.
How did you find people to participate?
Cathy Press, through her work as a therapist, was able to approach people that she had worked with in some capacity and with whom she had already established a relationship of trust. On occasion they then approached someone they knew, who subsequently also agreed to contribute. It was encouraging to discover how many survivors wanted the opportunity to be heard in order to help just one other person who may hear their interview and their words. Without their generosity this project would not have been achieved.
In our effort to demonstrate how domestic violence and abuse exists in all cultures in our diverse community, participants came from across the country. It was our aim that the interviews would represent the wider community and domestic violence and abuse in its many manifestations.
How can this DVD be used?
We have provided full interviews which can be used for training purposes, together with suggested discussion points for each interview. We have also included short clips of each interview, (between 1 – 3 mins), which can be used on radio, television and in newspapers or magazines, for which we have provided transcripts. These can be downloaded from the website.
Babergh Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum sincerely hope that the Survivors Stories DVD will prove to be a useful mechanism to further the work to support victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.