With figures showing that, on average, high-risk victims live with domestic abuse for over two years before getting specialist help, a new online film based on a disturbingly captivating and physically intense dance. Backed by a haunting original composition by Ellie Goulding the film lets victims of domestic abuse know that help and support is available to #breaktheroutine.
Created by J. Walter Thompson London, with LA’s Biscuit Filmworks, for the National Centre for Domestic Violence and independent charity Victim Support, the dance is physically hard and emotionally intense. The dancers, real-life couple Jennifer White and Jason Kittelberger, mimic the savage physicality of domestic abuse in a bare house. At the end the man is finally stopped by an invisible barrier and although it is not the end of her struggle, the woman knows she is safe.
The film, which breaks on 13 October and is called Break the Routine, also aims to demonstrate that domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Examples of coercive control, which is also now classed as a criminal offence, include threatening behaviour, humiliation and intimidation, repeatedly making someone feel scared, blackmailing, taking money or controlling finances.
A live performance of the dance took place on Wednesday 12 October at Regent’s Place - driving awareness of the campaign, and specifically the hashtag #breaktheroutine. Specially trained Victim Support trainees were on hand to give information and support to anyone who needed it.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2014/15 also shows that one in four women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and that 6.7 million men and women have experienced domestic abuse at some point.
The study also shows that only one in five (21%) partner abuse victims report to the police, and those that don’t report say that the abuse is not worth reporting, it was a private matter or that they don’t think the police can help.
The film was directed by two-time Directors Guild of America Director of the Year Noam Murro. Noam has directed some of the world’s greatest commercials and was named one of the 50 most influential people of the last 20 years by Creativity Magazine, and the UK’s #1 director by Campaign Magazine.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells, London and a guest artistic director of the National Youth Dance Company. Sidi received much international acclaim for his choreography in Joe Wright’s feature film Anna Karenina.