REVIEW: Uncovering Intimate Partner Abuse is an eye-opening and powerful exploration of domestic abuse
It is a horrifying truth that the person most likely to murder a woman is the person with whom she is the most intimate – her partner.
New documentary Uncovering Intimate Partner Abuse is a straightforward, powerful and eye-opening exploration of the difficulties women face in abusive relationships and thereafter, featuring survivors, witnesses and experts. It’s uncomfortable – even heart-wrenchingly painful – viewing, but it is necessary.
This documentary sugar-coats nothing. Two very brave women, Gemma and Sam, recount their stories, from how they were sucked into the world of their controlling boyfriends to the moment the courts finally separated them for good. Sometimes, escaping once was not enough. Being in hospital once was not enough. The blunt way they describe what happened, from graphic descriptions of their injuries to the impact on their children, is devastating.
They make their point. Women suffering from domestic abuse often find it difficult to reach out and explain what is happening to them, due to mind games played by their partners. In the world of fear manufactured by her partner, a woman may come to believe she (and her children) are safer staying silent. It’s a familiar story – and documentaries that tell stories like Gemma and Sam’s need to be shown. If we can increase communication and awareness of these issues, who knows how many survivors can be found.
The documentary uncovers the warning signs that may suggest an abusive partner – and how to spot them. It also examines the painful next steps after escaping the abuser, including how difficult a trial could be if the abuser refuses to confess to his crimes. The difficulties faced by women like Gemma and Sam, even after they make the decision to get out, are powerfully highlighted.
Uncovering Intimate Partner Abuse is an important documentary. The bravery of the women recounting their stories is powerful, their words devastating – and the matter-of-fact approach to the subject is exactly what is needed. It would be wrong to call this an enjoyable watch – but watching it is undoubtedly worthwhile.