In artifact 3, we are going to be doing a piece about power/control and that has been interpreted into using it to show abuse in relationships. The video is going to show powerful images of people speaking about general actions that entail abuse and then excuses. This will be overlayed with powerful and simple imagery of them speaking, to not draw away from the main message.
I did some research into what abusers generally say/excuses they generally give after giving said abuse.
“I’m sorry. I won’t ever do that again…”
“I was drunk/I was using drugs.”
“I act this way because I care about you.”
“You made me mad/provoked me, and I had no other choice. I can’t control it.”
“I have a mental illness or a personality disorder — ex. I’m bipolar, I have PTSD.”
“I grew up in a violent home where I experienced or witnessed abuse.”
We are going to flip this around and have the abusee giving these excuses to highlight the power that they are giving the abuser by accepting what they are saying.
For example, a line we are giving is “I made him angry, it was my fault. I should know my place. I gave him no other choice. He can’t control what he does if I make him angry.”
I then did some further research into what generally an abuser would say categorically:
- Idiot, Stupid Cunt, Go sit in the corner where you belong (dunce)
- Crazy Bitch, Psycho
- “It is none of your fucking business.”
- “Why don’t you fucking leave?” or “Get the fuck out of my house.”
Tells You What You’re Doing (But Is Incorrect)
- “Yes, why don’t you stuff your feelings inside.”
- “You’ve got your priorities screwed up.”
Plays Word Games
- Interrupts you when you’re talking.
- Repeats “your exact words” but takes them out of context or makes up something that you did not say or mean.
Tries to Appear Better Than You
- “You have no money; without me you’d be lost.”
- “At least I have a job.”.
Insults People And Pets You Love
- “Why don’t you leave, have your geriatric dog leave too and I hope he falls dead.”
- “Your mother left your dad to chase cock and you’re going to do the same to me!”
Sexual Insults And Injuries
- Makes you wear revealing clothing that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- “You were just a good fuck.”
Insults Your Ideas and Dreams
- The churches, restaurants, movies, etc. that you choose are not good enough.
- Your career interests are “fluffy” or not real jobs.
Threatens Or Intimidates You
- “Maybe I should just do pot, porn and date other woman and then maybe you will leave me.”
- “I should run you through the wood chipper out there!”
(Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, 2015)
We are going to have the antagonist say something similar to these phrases they have given as examples mixed with the responses given in the primary research. Then have the protagonist give an excuse for their actions, showing the power and subsequent control they are giving the abuser. For example:
Antagonist: “She’d be fucking nothing without me, she doesn’t have a job, she’s a waste of fucking space.”
Protagonist: “He was just saying it because he cares about me. He wants me to do well.
Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, (2015). Things Abusers Say And Do. [online] Available at: http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/things-abusers-say-do/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].
http://www.loveisrespect.org, (2015). Apologies and Excuses – http://www.loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at: http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/apologies-and-excuses/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].