As much of England goes back into lockdown towards Christmas, a new film from U.K. domestic abuse charity Women's Aid shines a light on the desperation that some women feel about not being able to leave the house.
The spot, by Engine, depicts a woman sitting in her car in an empty city center parking lot, with a bored small child. They sit there for hours, until dark, yet the voiceover is that of her perkily describing a shopping trip, with busy stores and socially distanced queueing because of COVID. It's only towards the end that we see her at her home preparing dinner, telling her partner about the "trip," as she flinches on hearing him comes towards her. “For thousands of women and children right now, home is anything but safe," the endline reads.
The film was directed by Molly Burdett and with cinematography by Robbie Ryn who worked on "The Favourite." It aims to highlight that for some women, any chance to get out and away from their partners has been reduced in the pandemic.
"The combined impact of the pandemic and the festive season will be significant for survivors of domestic abuse, who have told us that this year they have already felt trapped with their abusers during lockdown," said Nicki Norman, acting chief executive at Women’s Aid, in a statement. "Women are experiencing patterns of control and physical, emotional, economic and sexual abuse day in, day out—both Covid and the festive season can make existing abuse even worse.”
Earlier on in the pandemic, Women's Aid aired a powerful ad showing empty streets, parks and playgrounds, underlining that domestic abusers were now locked inside with their families.