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Behind Closed Doors

  • Documentary and factual
  • Lifestyle

Summary

Documentary shot over 12 months showing the work of Thames Valley Police's domestic abuse teams, following the stories of three women who waive their rights to anonymity to show how insidious and terrifying this type of crime can be. The complex emotions involved when a loved one becomes violent are also exposed, as is the lack of consistency in terms of the length of sentence given to offenders, with police repeatedly taking one alleged abuser to court only to have magistrates release him again and again.

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Review

Helen was so savagely attacked by her partner the imprint of his shoe is clearly visible on her swollen face. She ends the relationship but he bombards her with vitriolic texts and telephone calls. As she clears out the home they once shared Helen sobs: “I don’t understand… all I ever done was love him.”

She’s one of three women who have waived their right to anonymity to take part in a harrowing film that follows the work of Thames Valley Police’s specialist domestic violence unit. We hear Sabrina’s 999 call as she begs her boyfriend to stop beating her in an attack that lasted six hours. Later she points at her bedroom wall: “There’s blood all up here.” It’s her blood, of course.

And we eavesdrop as a kind police officer tells Jemma’s small son what he should do if he feels in danger from his mum’s violent ex-boyfriend.

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Credits

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rolename
DirectorAnna Hall
Executive producerBrian Woods
ProducerAnna Hall

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