Charity highlights emotional abuse with Valentine’s Day film release

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A HEXHAM-based charity used Valentine’s Day to launch a film highlighting the dangers of emotional abuse in teenage relationships.

Professionals at Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service say too many young people are being coerced into controlling relationships by their partners, who use their power to emotionally control every aspect of their lives.

And the charity’s children’s services co-ordinator, Maggie Martin, believes popular films such as 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight confuse uncontrollable passion and love with coerciveness and control, embedding an unhealthy picture of relationships into our culture.

“Young people are especially vulnerable, which is why we run services for anyone who is being or has been affected by any type of domestic abuse – no matter your age, gender or orientation,” she said.

To counteract the culture, NDAS launched its own short film on Tuesday, with a group of young parents at Hexham Children’s Centre among the first to see the finished product.

The film, featuring two young dancers performing a moving contemporary routine to specially written music, was produced by London-based RAW Productions as part of their charity initiative.

And, although it was shot in Norfolk, it even features a little piece of Northumberland in the form of dancer Connor Scott from Blyth.

Ryan Wilkins, chief executive of RAW, said: “We chose to make this film to change the way people see and understand domestic abuse. Many people believe domestic abuse is physical abuse, and that’s just not the case.”

Watch the film below.

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