Matlock charity's film on rural domestic abuse in rural communities to feature on BBC Countryfile

A short film produced by a Matlock charity to highlight the issue of domestic abuse in rural communities is to feature on BBC Countryfile this weekend.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 12:39 pm

Rural Action Derbyshire joined forces with the Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner to create 20-minute drama The Willows,which illustrates the challenges that victims face living in the countryside.

It tells the story of Dawn, the young of wife of farmer Peter, and how trapped she feels within her family.

Chief executive Bev Parker said: “Domestic abuse isn’t just physical, it’s often more subtle. Coercive and controlling behaviour is usually hidden and the perpetrator may be well respected in the community, as we see in the film.

“Peter is part of the cricket team and sits on committees. He is ‘all smiles’ to the outside world, but away from public life his sinister behaviour is chilling. The film makes it feel very real and uncomfortable.”

The film, which was made by the Herefordshire charity and production company Rural Media, draws upon the report ‘Captive & Controlled – domestic abuse in rural areas’, commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network.

It paints a shocking picture of rural Britain, where domestic abuse can go on 25 times longer than urban areas, and support services often fail in their protective roles.

Bishop of Derby Libby Lane said: “The Willows is a powerful film that brings into the light the suffering women and households may face due to coercive and abusive behaviour – even in the most idyllic of settings. I am grateful that the film also offers routes to help and support.”

Bev Parker with Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith.

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A scene from The Willows, which is available on YouTube.