Highlighting domestic abuse from a different perspective

Enfield playwright Nicole Brown introduces her new play tackling domestic violence

credit Volkan Olmez via Unsplash

When we hear about the topic of domestic violence or domestic abuse, it’s always easy to think that it couldn’t happen to anyone we know. Society has become so desensitised to the topic that it has become almost cliché when someone speaks about it.

As I listen to the countless cases of police charges being dropped or the system classifying a clear-cut case as being ‘self defence’ I often wonder if they know what it is like to live just one day in the life, in the body or in the mind of someone who had or is having to live through this trauma. Would their response still be the same?

Approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse in the previous six months, 200 of these having attended hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide.

Victims continue to suffer in silence for many reasons. Some are too afraid or ashamed to speak out. Some are already know that speaking out will not automatically mean that justice will be served or that the support they really need from services are either inadequate or non-existent.

Domestic violence affects one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime and leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year, according to campaign group Living Without Abuse.

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Despite the obstacles and the discouraging responses or non-responses to domestic violence, the cycle continues. The sad reality is that it is also fed by a justice system that almost trivialises what is a life-changing and, for some, a life or death experience.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year, I decided to write and direct the play Fresh Breeze to commemorate standing together with women, men and especially young girls who have survived this debilitating and traumatic experience. I also wanted to raise awareness about domestic abuse from a different perspective.

Fresh Breeze represents hope, resilience and the incredible strength of the human spirit. It’s raw and unconventional and takes the audience on an unforgettable journey which brings them face-to-face with reality. It lays bare the vulnerabilities that come with letting go; it’s about learning to choose you in the midst of adversities which sometimes shakes you to the core of your existence.

This one-woman play represents a new beginning, a rejuvenation, a rediscovery of self, and embracing change.

Fresh Breeze is being performed at Newington Green Meeting House in Hackney on 29th October. All proceeds will be donated to charity. To book tickets:

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