VIC­TIMS’ VOICES HEARD

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

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.

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