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Launching social drama film LAST DATE – addressing the issues of coercive and controlling behaviour

26 February 2020

Our Domestic Violence and Abuse Coordinator, Tracy Foster looks at the new social drama film LAST DATE, launched by Family Action and Omni Productions and discusses the need for more education around coercive and controlling behaviour, especially for young people.

Family Action and Omni Productions are pleased to launch a new film about coercive and controlling behaviour – LAST DATE. The film builds on Omni production’s previous success with the domestic abuse awareness film LEAVING which portrays the struggle of leaving a domestic abuse relationship. This film is used in training across the country to explore and highlight the complexities of living within a domestic abuse relationship and the difficulties of leaving. Family Action has 150 years’ experience working with families and a focus of providing domestic abuse training to all its staff and volunteers ensuring a supportive and comprehensive approach across all our services.

Domestic violence and abuse is prevalent across all of our society and a significant number of individuals experience this every year.  

Each year nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse – 1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4%) (ONS).” There is a need to continue to raise awareness and challenge attitudes, which allow domestic abuse to continue, in particular with young adults who are entering into their first intimate relationships.

Coercive and controlling behaviour is a tactic of behaviour by the perpetrator to exert complete control over their victim. This happens over time with a purposeful pattern of incidents, which leave the victim charmed, isolated, disarmed and often unable to move forward or break free. In a recently published study of 358 domestic homicide reviews by Dr Jane Monckton-Smith of Gloucestershire University, control was seen in 92% of domestic killings, obsession in 94% and isolation from family and friends in 78%. She describes coercion and control as having similar characteristics as stalking.

“She describes coercion and control as having similar characteristics as stalking.”

 

Throughout the 20-minute long film, LAST DATE, we follow the relationship between two young adults with the coercion and control tactics used throughout their relationship condensed into one evening’s events. The film is designed to empower young people – both potential victims and perpetrators – to recognise the signs and break the cycle. It has been created as a preventative tool, helping young audiences see the early warning signs of abuse, and as a training resource for specialists working in the field.

Having been involved in the co-production of LAST DATE from first discussions with the OMNI production team, to the script development, on set involvement and discussion with the lead actors, I am extremely proud of this film. It provides an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the issue of coercive and controlling behaviours. It can assist in challenging and changing attitudes and beliefs and providing young people with increased awareness of this issue, which is sadly so prevalent within our society.

As with Leaving, LAST DATE is available, along with supporting training resources, through online subscription via Social Film Drama here.