During February and on the build up to Valentine’s Day, we launched our campaign ‘Love and the Movies – What’s love got to do with it?’. 

Whilst domestic abuse involves abuse within a number of different types of relationships, we were keen to get views on love in intimate relationships and how they are depicted in the movies!  We launched a survey asking members of the public what they felt were characteristics of healthy and unhealthy intimate relationships as well as how these are depicted in the movies!

Domestic Abuse can be a difficult topic to talk about and broach and sometimes we have to look for creative ways in which we can engage people in those conversations in a meaningful way.  The ‘Love at the Movies’ Campaign was discussed at a number of Community Hubs which we run across the County with Survivors of Domestic Abuse and it promoted lots of conversation and debates, with people across a spectrum of ages, genders and sexualities, some in current intimate relationships and others not. 

The Campaign was run in partnership with two of our Community Advocates, Heads2Minds and Your Healthcare CIC.  Heads2Minds are a mental health charity in Essex who raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing and offer support to anyone experiencing mental health challenges as well as reduce the stigma around various mental health disorders. Your Health Care CIC are a not for profit social enterprise delivering patient-led, high quality health and social care community services for residents in Kingston, and Learning Disability services in Richmond.   Short interviews with both Community Advocates are available to watch below where we really began to dig down into how different narratives about relationships are formed through ‘the movies’.

Interview with Liz and Izzy at Heads2Minds

Interview with Jane at Your Healthcare CIC

We wanted to also share some of the results of our survey around what people saw as characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships as well as how they were depicted in different movies.   Interesting debates emerged about the movie Titanic, as it appeared on both lists where Rose’s relationship with Jack was looked at as ‘ultimate love’ vs ‘very quick infatuation in just a few days’.  We will let you have these debates for yourselves which is exactly what the Campaign was all about – to promote meaningful conversations about relationships!  This is what those that took our Survey thought:-

Top 10 Characteristics of a Loving and Healthy Relationship

  • Trust
  • Understanding and respecting boundaries
  • Open and honest communication
  • Respect
  • Time together and time apart (own interests and friends)
  • Taking it slow at the beginning
  • Compromise
  • Talking kindly about ex-partners and family members
  • Ability to grasp another perspective/opinion
  • Feeling Safe and Secure

Top 5 ‘Must see’ Movies depicting a Healthy Relationship

  • Love Actually
  • To all the boys I’ve loved before
  • The Notebook
  • The Holiday
  • Titanic

Top 10 Warning Signs of an Abusive or Unhealthy Relationship

  • Controlling Behaviour
  • Jealousy
  • Isolation
  • Drug and Alcohol Misuse
  • Monitoring Phone use
  • Constant Criticism
  • Disrespect
  • Aggression or Violence
  • Unpredictable Mood Swings
  • Constant Questioning

Top 5 ‘Must see’ Movies depicting an Abusive or Unhealthy Relationship

  • Sleeping with the Enemy
  • Fatal Attraction
  • 50 Shades of Grey
  • Gone Girl
  • Titanic
CPD Provider
Lottery Community Fund
brentwood Chamber
Essex Partnership
Police, fire and crime commissioner for essex
Essex Community Foundation

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