Quick Hit – Keira Knightly domestic violence ad banned from UK cinemas.

Because it’s too violent. What do they think domestic violence is?

Link to article with embedded video here. I just watched it and it is quite graphic and disturbing. If you are a survivor of domestic violence then you may find it triggering.

Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, media, relationships, violence

Tags: , , ,

16 replies

  1. Too violent!?!
    Are they watching the same movies shown in the States? B/c those are far more violent, and for no reason better than “hey! It’s entertainment!”. No reason to take a good dose of reality once in a while. Oy! Heavens forbid we actually face the reality of what Domestic violence really looks like. And I’ve seen that one before. Isn’t it mostly emotional/verbal abuse? Equally damaging, but what if we actually had a PSA depicting what physical abuse looked like?
    I quit.

  2. If it’s the “calling cut” one, then it ends with severe physical abuse. I can’t see the vid in the article Mindy linked to, but the one I’m thinking of can be found here (with trigger warning).
    But not showing it because it’s violent? I can only echo Mindy’s question of what they think domestic violence is.

  3. Same one SunlessNick.

  4. Given that, in Britain, Keira Knightly is one of those stars who can generate media attention just by doing stuff, I really hope the banning of the ad creates a publicity storm. Good on her for using the attention paid to her celebrity (which I know she hates) to benefit others.

  5. I don’t think it’s a question of What they think DV is. We all know what DV is.
    We all know what rape and murder is, too, but it doesn’t follow that it is suitable for graphic portrayal on television.

  6. God the YouTube comments are depressing. Humanity is regressing to a neanderthal state. More than one commenter reckons it’s tragic Keira Knightley is being beaten up because she’s so beautiful. I don’t think this ad is raising teh consciousness of the majority simply because some people seem so unwilling to learn. I just hope they are doing the swagger performance because internally they are shocked and beginning to process the info.

  7. OK, not to be a naysayer, but…
    If it’s graphic and disturbing and potentially triggering?
    It doesn’t belong in cinemas. Because it’s potentially triggering. Or don’t people with post-traumatic stress disorder deserve to be able to go to the movies without being confronted by triggering material?
    Please don’t bring up that movies are violent. There’s a GIANT difference. I can go to movies I know will be violent while knowing that the cinematic violence portrayed is not the violence that is triggering to me. Graphic and disturbing depictions of domestic violence, however, ARE triggering.
    I’m upset that the suggestion that this sort of thing is inappropriate for cinemas is getting criticised this roundly – some of us don’t need to be “made aware” of issues, and would quite like it to remain possible for PTSD sufferers to have entertainment options. It’s all very noble to say that People Need To See This Kind Of Thing, but it’s not universally true.
    What you seem to be advocating here is policy that makes life more difficult for victims of abuse. That’s just a touch unfair.

  8. Sami, I can see your point, but you do have the option of going into the movie as it begins and skipping the commercials.

  9. Right. So, if you’re a survivor of abuse, then you shouldn’t get to watch the previews and you should be required to enter the cinema only as the film is starting – entering while the house lights are still up? NOT FOR YOU, if you wanted that kind of privilege your should have KNOWN BETTER than to be abused, obviously – and just take whatever crappy seats are available because everyone else came in earlier.
    Obviously the education of the masses is much more important than coddling those whiny, wimpy post-traumatic stress disorder losers. Why don’t they just grow a pair and get over it, anyway?

  10. Mindy: I strongly disagree with you. No. Why should the people being triggered, the people with PTSD, the people who are the victims here, be the ones who have to rearrange their lives? Don’t they get quite enough of that already?
    And if they’re with a group of friends, they now have to stress about disclosing and discussing every single time they go to a movie?
    A thread about domestic violence should, above all, not be hostile to victims of domestic violence.

  11. Lauredhel: Thank you. I think I’d rather lost the ability to articulate the nature of my objections directly.

  12. Sami: I think there’s a whiff in this sort of conversation that existing victims/survivors (or however you choose to identify) have a responsibility – that it is reasonable to place a burden on them, in which they have no choice, in order to (possibly, maybe, or not) prevent further women being abused or victimised. The same dynamic comes into play when talking about rape reporting and the potential accompanying retraumatisation, for example, a manipulative sort of “You must submit to this, to prevent him abusing other women in the future!”
    Sometimes that metric comes out with the answer “no”, for very rational and well thought out reasons. But when “If it saves just one person!” justification into play, it becomes more difficult to have a conversation about those competing priorities.

  13. I do recognise that the benefits-of-education factor is important, but the effectiveness of extreme-shock campaigns is debatable at best. Extremely graphic, confronting images can set off aversion reactions. People are horrified, so they recoil, they don’t want to see it and they resist thinking about it because it hurts. It’s kind of counterproductive.
    So if what you’re looking at using is something that’s pretty much guaranteed to be harmful to past victims, and NOT guaranteed to be substantially helpful in result, then you are not, to me, in the realm of justifiable collateral damage.
    It’s also an element of time and place, to me. Delineating swathes of public experience as Unsafe Space for people who’ve been traumatised seems more than a little unfair, and putting the onus of coping with that on the victims – for something that will likely cause little harm to abusers – is, to me, plainly wong.

  14. Sami – I owe you an apology. I was abrupt and unthinking and unfair. I think there is a fine line between getting information out to the public and not triggering victims. I think I was unduly swayed by the fact that it was a women’s anti-dv group who came up with this ad. Obviously they haven’t thought through all the issues either. Which is no excuse for me.

  15. Forgiven, and thank you.

  16. All I can say is that I am really glad I was safe at home watching that, and had been duly warned. Yes, DV is that and worse. It is ugly and violent and needs to stop.
    I doubt that some abusers would be changed by this type of ad. Some might even enjoy watching it. Mine would have played it in a loop.
    I also believe that many survivors could be triggered by this. For me, it was the broken mirror. I have learned to deal with triggers, but even after five years of freedom from violence, I cannot always anticipate what will or will not affect me.
    Violence in films DOES trigger sometimes. I try to avoid movies I think might trigger, but sometimes I am surprised. Sadly, even some TV programs catch me off-guard.
    There may be a proper venue for this ad, just not sure where.

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