The Duchess of Cornwall is supporting a series of animated videos designed to highlight often overlooked signs of domestic abuse.
Animation students at Bournemouth University created the videos after they were asked by Dorset’s High Sheriff, Dorset police and the Dorset Criminal Justice board to make films that would illustrate common types of coercive control.
The video uses puppet-like couples attached to each other by strings to display three common forms of coercive control, such as making serious threats, tracking and monitoring a partner’s devices and daily activity, and isolating a partner from friends, family and interests.
In a video to support the campaign, Camilla said: “Thankfully the sometimes disastrous effects of domestic abuse in society are now much better understood.”
“Much less understood is the psychological abuse which exists in some relationships. I’m delighted that Dorset Police and Bournemouth University are working together to make this short film and that it will, over time, help to raise public awareness of some of the complex characteristics that make up controlling and coercive behaviour which is now, thank goodness, a crime.”
The Duchess of Cornwall has been a passionate advocate against domestic abuse and sexual violence and has worked extensively to raise awareness of the issues.
Over the years she has visited a number of refuges and centres to learn more about domestic abuse and sexual violence and most recently visited the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to learn about a new telephone designed specifically to allow victims of abuse to contact the police quickly and discreetly in the case of an emergency.
In 2015 coercive control was made a criminal offence, however, it can often be difficult to prosecute perpetrators as due to the psychological nature of the abuse, there is often little physical evidence.
Consultation on the domestic violence bill which aims to produce a series of measures to improve support for victims and establish the first-ever legal definition of domestic abuse was announced by the Government earlier this month.
Dorset Police Deputy Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “Controlling or coercive behaviour can cause significant harm to victims and their children.”
“Perpetrators need to know that reports of this sort of abuse will be pursued and investigated. There is help and support available and I urge anyone who is affected by controlling or coercive behaviour, or any other abuse to seek help and report it.”
You can view the full edit of the ‘Cut Your Strings’ campaign by clicking here.