Q&A Interview Experiencing domestic abuse

Newcastle based Filmmaker Billy Floyd is the creator of 'Bliss' - a short film that explores the cycle of domestic abuse. 'Bliss' was commissioned as a result of a partnership between the Arts Council England and Channel 4, which works with and develops 16-24 year old filmmakers through a national initiative known as First Acts. Read more about First Acts here.

Am I Normal spoke to Billy about the effects of domestic abuse, how to help those who may be experiencing it, as well as his views on the lack of education surrounding the issue.

Hi Billy, can you start off by telling us what ‘Bliss’ is about and what prompted you to make it?

When I first came up with the idea for Bliss I thought that it was about making my peace with growing up in an abusive environment. During development however, I came to the realisation that I had made my peace with that a long time ago. Rather, this is a film about my anxiety that I could end up propagating a cycle of violence.

Approximately every minute, police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call – yet only 35% of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police. Do you feel that there’s enough general education and support surrounding the issue?

No way! I think it feeds into a larger cultural attitude that people have where we don’t want to talk about uncomfortable truths. I hope that one day people can be more open about their experiences without fear of being ostracised.

What would you say are some of the signs of domestic abuse?

Honestly this is so hard to say, it can be so many things, I think disengaging socially or other sudden changes in behavior can be major signs.

What would be your advice to teens that may be experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse?

If it’s you? You’ve got to get out of there, they’re not worth the hurt, and it is not your fault.

If you’re witnessing it? I’d call the police, immediately.

Do you have any suggestions on how to best support a friend or loved one who might have been, or is being abused?

Let them know you’re there for them and if you can, provide them a safe place to stay. It’s worth remembering that they might not realise they’re in an abusive relationship and may just need to talk.

Have you got any other projects lined up?

I’m always working on film ideas while I’m not at my 9-5. The piece I’m working on now is still in development but it’s about how we act differently in different situations/in different relationships and it’s all told with professional wrestling and dance.

Further support

If you would like more information on domestic abuse, check out the channel 4 support site

Channel 4 support site (This link opens in a new window)

Want to know more about Random Acts? Click here to check out the website.

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