Murdered By My Boyfriend

Recently on BBC 3 there was a reconstructive drama called 'Murdered By My Boyfriend'. The programme was exactly what it said on the tin, featuring the true story of a teenage girl and her abusive relationship with her boyfriend. This haunting tale showed the 4 years that they were involved and the various incidents which led up to her final days. The ending is definitely not one for the faint hearted; tears flowed well after the credits had finished rolling!

The suffering of this woman, and many others in a similar situation, is not one often spoken about. One of those things that we like to brush under the rug; maybe include it in an episode of Corrie, but still we remain at a safe distance. Ignorance is bliss...
However, what I have noticed since watching this programme is the beginning of a conversation. Woman after woman is seeing the horrors it contains and has passed on the message to her friends. They discuss it over coffee, at work or over social media. We are educating ourselves. 
Isn't it about time? No longer should we hide behind well manicured hands; open your eyes to what is happening to your neighbours, friends or family. These women need help and some of them don't even realise it. Look for the warning signs. lists some key warning signs as:

They begin isolating themselves from those who they were once close with.
Wearing clothing designed to conceal the body; either to hide bruising or because revealing clothing is not acceptable to their partner.
Blaming themselves for the abuse if confronted.
Do you notice the partner has anger/temper problems even in public?

It is also key to remember abuse comes in many different forms. Though physical is the first to come to mind (unfortunately), abuse can also be towards her possessions, verbal, psychological or sexual. Not all abuse will leave a visible scar. Domestic abuse revolves around maintaining the power within the relationship by using whatever means the abuser finds affective.

Research into domestic violence by Yougov* has shown that 81% of women received no schooling about domestic violence, and would have liked to.
It is more likely that a person will recognise physical violence as abuse; only 25% of women polled understood more subtle means of abuse existed.
Most worryingly of the 50% of respondents who had experienced at least 1 of the warning signs, only one fifth of them would talk to someone about the abuse.

*Yougov; sample size 513, 18-21 years old, women, 15-21 July 2008

Domestic abuse affects a lot more women than you think, even statistics cannot be accurate as most of it will go unreported. The victims live in fear even after they have escaped which is why we need to work to cut it off from the beginning. The importance of this documentary is shown in beginning the conversation. The British way should no longer be to pretend like it's not happening! Young people need to be properly educated; it's only a tricky subject if you make it that way! Teach how a relationship should be, how to correctly treat the opposite sex. Subjects such as rape and domestic violence should be a commonplace as drugs and alcohol. We need to learn the issues of the 21st century and work together to stop them.

0808 2000 247 a 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
The Survivors Handbook a free information booklet from the charity Women's Aid. Guiding you through every step of seeking support.
NHS Choices also has a collection of other useful links and helplines. Specialised help for those in same sex relationships is also available.

You are not beyond help whether you are the victim or the abuser.



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