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What's Happening - When Love Hurts

Agosto 2018
Nonostante sia una tematica particolarmente spinosa e difficile da trattare, sempre più spesso film, serie TV e romanzi ci parlano di donne che subiscono violenza domestica.

di Valentina Mercuri

Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies

Fiction can describe reality and raise awareness of serious social problems such as domestic abuse. An extremely delicate subject, this controversial and complex topic can leave people feeling devastated, but now it seems it cannot be ignored anymore.
This year Women’s Prize for Fiction went to Meena Kandasamy’s When I Hit You: The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Wife. This Indian writer’s novel narrates her slavery months while married to a Marxist university lecturer. Fear, shame and sense of guilt are women’s common reactions to their partner’s jealousy. In this award-winning novel, based on the writer’s own real-life marriage, the writer tries to contrast poetic language with the tough reality she was going through. As she was gradually deprived of freedom and self-esteem, Kandasamy found herself isolated and depending on her abusive husband.   
Domestic violence is historically associated with a poor background and lack of education -as in the Oscar-nominated movie I, Tonya, where the abused daughter of a rude, alcoholic mother then got into an abusive relationship. Director Craig Gillespie depicts the American ice skater Tonya Harding’s marriage as a vicious cycle from which it was difficult to escape.     
However, now we know that violent attitudes within the family are not synonymous with only one social class. Celeste, the gorgeous wife and caring mother personified by Nicole Kidman in the TV show Big Little Lies, has to hide the bruises caused by her attractive, successful and loving husband. Their ‘ideal’ lives were not so perfect as they appeared. It took her quite some time to realize that violent language and acts were not just the result of their extremely passionate physical love and that her husband was the only one to blame. Money is key in this situation. Women who can afford a psychiatrist and have economic independence are more likely to leave their husband, as the TV character finally did.
Altough most scars are imperceptible, domestic abuse leaves an indelible mark on women who have experienced violence.
Fortunately, an increasing number of writers and directors are bringing this topic into the open and many charities in every country are helping women to rebuild their lives after an abusive relationship. Refuge, for example, is doing an amazing job in the UK with the support of the community.  


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