Seven short films by Yorkshire artist Beverley Addy, will be screened in public places throughout Huddersfield today in a compelling new campaign to raise awareness of violence against women. The screening of the short films, entitled Lives, will today coincide with International Women’s Day 2012.
The films were influenced by women who attended a workshop for those suffering domestic abuse, and aim to help women who are being abused to speak out against it.
According to the charity Women’s Aid, in any one year in the UK, there are 13 million separate incidents of physical violence or threats of violence against women from partners or former partners, and on average two women a week are killed by a male partner or former partner, constituting around one-third of all female homicide victims.
Addy told The Guardian “Sometimes the emotional abuse was as damaging as the violence. At the mundane end it’s men saying they don’t like what you’re wearing. But that’s not about the clothes, it’s about pulling the rug from under you and controlling you.
“It’s hard for people to talk about all this. The women described how, slowly slowly, their confidence was ground down and they felt smaller and smaller.
“I apologise to anybody who is upset because they’ve been through it. Material like this is not often seen by the general public, but art should not exist in a bubble.
“It’s not a public information film, but maybe it might make a man in a pub reflect on his behaviour. Or a woman in a hairdresser watching while she waits for her colour to take might think, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to be like that.’
“If it saves someone wasting five or 10 years of their life being somebody they really don’t want to be, that would be great.”