VICTIMS’ VOICES HEARD
ANONYMITY in our national debate has, for the most part, been poisonous of late. Trolls allowed to spew their hatefulness at anyone, at any time, without the courage to put a face or even a name to their questioning or condemnation. But this series is based on questions many fear to ask, using the cover of anonymity to get truthful and at times, confronting answers. Tonight’s topic is on the issue of domestic and family violence, a subject with complexities and sensitivities. Hearing from its victims – away from political rhetoric around the issue – is profoundly moving and impactful. The questions are familiar: “what did you do to provoke it?” “What were the warning signs?” “Why didn’t you leave?” The answers are delivered with a range of emotion: good humour, courage, and in the case of one woman who really affected me, a timidity and fear you know is the lasting legacy of her having her self-esteem crushed and her personality pulverised by an abusive partner. She speaks in a whisper, her body folded into itself. Sitting beside a gay man, who was victimised in his first homosexual relationship, she still seems scared. His empathy for her, attempts to lighten the mood and reassure her she’s not alone are just beautiful to watch. When you hear these brave souls catalogue their injuries, not to mention the obvious psychological damage done to them, it makes for devastatingly powerful TV.