Behind Closed Doors: Through the Eyes of a Child
Shot over the course of three years, and working with local charities in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire County Council and Thames Valley Police, the film has unprecedented access to children who have all witnessed or experienced domestic violence, meeting senior social workers to help understand how children are affected by domestic abuse.
One in five children in the UK has lived with an adult who was or is a victim of domestic violence. 750,000 children each year see or suffer abuse which affects them forever.
Thirteen year-old Zara grew up in a violent home. Her mum left her dad when Zara was eight, after years of abuse. But recently her dad has managed to re-establish contact, with disturbing results.
Eight year-old Ollie lives with his mum and little brother. He saw his mum being attacked by her boyfriend, slamming her head in a door. Her boyfriend received a suspended sentence, and the family live in fear of his return. Ollie knows the drill, and religiously checks the doors are locked.
Fourteen year-old Kirstie’s mum, Natalie Hemming, was subject to violence and coercive control by her partner for ten years. Kirstie was too frightened to say anything to teachers at school, even when her mum went missing. Three weeks later, police discovered her mum’s body - her step-dad had murdered her.
Kirstie speaks for the first time about the effect of living in such a frightening home, accompanied by footage of her police interview in 2016 at the time of her mum’s disappearance.