Ellie Goulding track backs online film raising awareness of domestic abuse

13 October 2016

Exclusive Ellie Goulding track backs intensely realistic dance performance in online film raising awareness of domestic abuse

London, October 13, 2016: With figures showing that, on average, high-risk victims live with domestic abuse for over two years before getting specialist help, a new online film based on a disturbingly captivating and physically intense dance backed by a haunting original composition by Ellie Goulding lets victims of domestic abuse know that help and support is available to #breaktheroutine.

Created by J. Walter Thompson London, with LA’s Biscuit Filmworks, for the National Centre for Domestic Violence and independent charity Victim Support, the dance is physically hard and emotionally intense. The dancers, real-life husband and wife team Jennifer White and Jason Kittelberger, mimic the savage physicality of domestic abuse in a bare house. At the end the man is finally stopped by an invisible barrier and although it is not the end of her struggle, the woman knows she is safe.

The film, which breaks on 13 October, also aims to demonstrate that domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Examples of coercive control, which is also now classed as a criminal offence, include threatening behaviour, humiliation and intimidation, repeatedly making someone feel scared, blackmailing, taking money or controlling finances.

A live performance of the dance took place on Wednesday 12 October at Regent’s Place – driving awareness of the campaign, and specifically the hashtag #breaktheroutine. Specially trained Victim Support advisors were on hand to give information and support should anyone need it.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales, 2014/15 also shows that one in four women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and that 6.7 million men and women have experienced domestic abuse at some point.

The study also shows that only one in five (21%) partner abuse victims report to the police, and those that don’t report say that the abuse is not worth reporting, it was a private matter or that they don’t think the police can help.

The film was directed by two-time Directors Guild of America Director of the Year Noam Murro. Noam has directed some of the world’s greatest commercials and was named one of the 50 most influential people of the last 20 years by Creativity Magazine, and the UK’s #1 director by Campaign Magazine.

Sidi Cherkaoui is an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells, London and a guest artistic director of the National Youth Dance Company. Sidi received much international acclaim for his choreography in Joe Wright’s feature film Anna Karenina.

Lucy Hastings, Director at independent charity Victim Support, said: “Domestic abuse isn’t just about physical violence. Emotionally abusive behaviour can be just as traumatising, and thousands of people are affected by this every year.

“People experiencing abuse can often feel trapped in their situation or that they are to blame for what’s happening, but this is not the case. We offer non-judgemental, free and confidential help and support to anyone affected by abuse, whether or not the police are involved.”

Mark Groves, Head of Operations at NCDV, said: “Two years is categorically too long for someone to deal with the horrors of domestic abuse. We need to raise awareness of the issue and let victims know there is help and a way out and we believe this film does just that in a shockingly captivating way. Through our range of legal services the National Centre for Domestic Violence can help people break this routine of domestic abuse by essentially giving them that way out.”

Sophie, a survivor of domestic abuse, said: “Before him I was so confident, nothing bothered me and I would always stand up for myself. All in all it was four years with some breaks in the middle.”

“I knew it was wrong but I didn’t realise it was actually domestic abuse until after I spoke to my Victim Support Caseworker. She saved my life; I don’t think I could have taken another year of that abuse.”

“The scars will always be there but they don’t rule my life. I’m not afraid anymore, I’ve got my strength back and I’m so proud of myself.”

Russell Ramsey, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson London, said: “Dance has an inherent emotional intensity, which we’ve used to give impact to a disturbing reality – but also a true offer of hope.”

Sidi Cherkaoui, Choreographer said: “With Eastman dancers Jason and Jennifer, and Noam’s directorial vision, I sought a way to reflect this struggle through dance and movement. It means a lot to me to support these organisations, which try to stop domestic violence by giving victims immediate ways to keep themselves safe.


– Ends –


For more information contact:

J. Walter Thompson London:

Noel Bussey/Johanna Doyle

Email: noel.bussey@jwt.com/johanna.doyle@jwt.com

Tel: 020 7656 7173 or 07500991205/0207 656 7984 or 07879184927

About Victim Support

Victim Support (VS) is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. Last year (2015/16)  we offered support to just under 1 million victims of crime and supported 40,000 victims of domestic abuse, 86% of those we supported were women and 14% were men. VS also runs the national Homicide Service supporting people bereaved through murder and manslaughter and local projects which tackle domestic abuse, antisocial behaviour, hate crime, and help children and young people. VS is a member of the Home Office’s Joint Fraud Taskforce, addressing fraud and cybercrime. The charity has around 1,100 staff and 1,600 volunteers.

Website: www.victimsupport.org.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/victimsupport
Twitter: twitter.com/victimsupport

About NCDV

NCDV was established to help survivors of domestic violence obtain protection against an abuser, as well as offering services to the police, probation service, domestic abuse agency workers, the legal profession and judiciary.

We specialise in providing free, fast and effective legal support to survivors of domestic violence, usually by helping individuals obtain injunctions from their local county court. This free service is provided to everybody, regardless of their financial circumstances, sexual orientation, race, gender, age, or political or religious belief or otherwise.

About J. Walter Thompson London

J. Walter Thompson, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry’s first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www.jwt.co.uk and follow us @JWT_London.