The Willows

Rural Studios

Client: Rural Action Derbyshire

The Willows – Dawn’s Story

A film about one woman’s escape from rural domestic abuse.

Abuse lasts, on average, 25 times longer in the most rural areas. The sense of isolation, of being alone without support, or ways to travel to a place of safety means the more rural the setting, the higher the risk of harm.

Rural Studios partnered with Rural Action Derbyshire and Derbyshire Police & Crime Commissioner to produce a 20-minute drama, ‘The Willows’, highlighting the challenges that victims of domestic abuse face living in a rural area.

The Willows drew upon the report ‘Captive & Controlled – Domestic Abuse in Rural Areas’, commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network, which revealed a shocking picture of domestic abuse in rural Britain, with hidden victims – isolated and unprotected – being failed by a system, services and even those around them. As Dawn's story unfolds, we get a powerful insight to how trapped she feels, how unhappy she is and of the wider family dynamic. Rural life can be hard, but it shouldn’t be this hard.