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25 November 2021

Spot abuse to stop abuse.

by Jason Stone



Women's Aid: “Spot the Abuse” - 2 mins

There's been a real awakening in recent years about the nature of abuse. Whereas, once upon a time, our understanding of it was limited to cuts and bruises, most of us are now aware that psychological abuse and coercive control can be incredibly damaging too. And while physical abuse often leaves evidence which needs to be explained, psychological abuse can leave those subjected to it feeling helpless as they struggle to be completely certain that they are, indeed, victims.

It's essential then to continually remind people of the harm that it causes, and – even more importantly – to provide victims with the means to understand what is going on in their lives.

The approach of this film for Women's Aid is to use humour to achieve this, but director Alicia MacDonald studiously ensures that it's clear that this is not a funny situation.

The scope for mistaking abusive behaviour for something more benign is narrowing all the time, but clearly many women are still inclined to dismiss appalling behaviour as merely 'moody' even as it escalates towards criminality. It's essential to ensure that women are equipped to properly recognise this behaviour for what it is, and it's just as important that there is a consensus in our society about what constitutes abuse as well... otherwise cries for help will continue to be unheard, and there will be a reluctance to intervene even when it's clearly necessary.

Women's Aid, Engine and Missing Link deserve a lot of credit for creating a bold piece of communication which tackles this issue in an attention-grabbing fashion without ever sensationalising it or trivialising it.


Creative Agency: Engine Ⓟ Ⓦ
Creative Director: Christopher Ringsell / Jo Moore ♀ Ⓟ
Creative: Antonia Clayton
Head of Film: Melody Sylvester
Senior Producer: Laura Melville
Agency Producer: Sabrina May 
Ass't Prod (Agency): Henry Davies
Film Production: Missing Link Films Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Alicia MacDonald ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Ben Link
Production M'ger: Sorcha O'Sullivan
Executive Producer: Heather Link
1st AD: Tom Reynolds
Cinematographer: Sam Goldie
Production Designer: Matthew Rice
Costume Design: Joanna Valmai Wills
Hair Design: Holly Miller
Editor: Rachael Spann ♀ Ⓟ Ⓦ / Rebecca Quinn @ Work Ⓟ Ⓦ
VFX: Absolute Post Ⓟ Ⓦ
Colourist: Juliette Wileman @ Absolute Post Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Designer: Ben Leeves @ Jungle Ⓟ Ⓦ

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.