As part of ERA’s commitment to helping licence holders make best use of the material available to them, we have decided to start highlighting our ‘top pick’ each week.
This week, BBC1 offers viewers a deeply personal look at how the police help survivors of domestic violence. Behind Closed Doors, which airs on Monday 14th March at 9pm (10:45pm for Scotland and 11:10pm in Wales, follows Thames Valley Police’s specialist domestic abuse unit and interviews three brave women about their experiences.
With unprecedented access to the Thames Valley Police domestic abuse teams and the victims of violence they are helping, this documentary gives an extraordinary insight into the most common violent crime to take place in the home.
Shot over 12 months, and starting from the moment a 999 call is received, the film follows three brave women who each waive their right to anonymity to show how insidious and terrifying domestic abuse can be. The complex emotions involved when someone you love becomes violent are also exposed, as are the difficulties for police when those feelings mean victims are not completely honest.
With an unfolding, present tense narrative, the film also exposes the lack of consistency in terms of the length of sentence given to offenders. When the police repeatedly take one perpetrator to court only to have magistrates release him again and again, the film demonstrates how the huge ordeal of going to court for these victims of domestic abuse does not mean that, in their eyes, justice will automatically follow.
This programme will be of use to students studying Sociology and Criminology, but will also help those who wish to work in the social services, or the court system.