NATION’S VIOLENT SHAME
By the end of today, there will have been 650 or more reported incidents of domestic violence across Australia.
That shameful figure begins Sarah Ferguson’s harrowing two-part ABC documentary Hitting Home, which goes to the heart of a national crisis.
Ferguson spent a staggering six months fully immersed in the story, coming face-to-face with what she calls “the devil that lives among us”.
“The key was to involve myself in this world — with women, with prisoners, in the courts, out with police … to live with it and not just visit for an afternoon,” she explains.
So in June, Ferguson moved into a women’s refuge — a tiny camp bed in the manager’s office her temporary home — to spend time with abuse victims and their families.
Ferguson says she felt anger watching battered women being subjected to aggressive cross-examination from their former partners’ lawyers.
“People are entitled to a robust defence but some of that stuff made me mad,” she says.
There was also sadness when she listened to children.
“They’ve grown up with it. They know what it is.
“And I found that extremely sad.”
HITTING HOME AIRS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NEXT WEEK, ABC, 8.30PM