The Willows - Dawn's Story

Rural Domestic Abuse - Let's not be afraid to talk about it.
Please join us for the launch of our new 20 minute film "The Willows".

“The Willows” is about Dawn. The film starts with stunning drone footage of Dawn and her husband Peter driving their daughter to school along a remote Derbyshire lane. Peter stays in the car whilst Dawn drops their daughter at the school gate. It is easy to identify with Dawn’s discomfort, being delayed by teachers and friends wanting to draw her into conversation. Peter makes it clear that he is not happy when she returns to the car.

As the story unfolds we get a better understanding of 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.

Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, said “Domestic abuse is not confined to urban households,” he said. “In fact, those at risk of abuse who live in rural areas are often more isolated and less able to seek help, purely due to their location.

“The Willow Project understands that domestic abuse and coercive behaviour in rural areas may be presented in different ways, and its services are aimed specifically at those members of our rural communities who are at risk. If we can provide wraparound support services with the help of our partners and the voluntary sector, we will increase reporting, highlight the signals that someone needs help and protect many more people at risk of harm.”

View the Trailer

Rural Domestic Abuse Awareness Training

The key aim of the film is for it to be used to highlight the issues of rural domestic abuse. The Willow Project is running rural domestic abuse awareness training seminars throughout Derbyshire. This training hopes to encourage people to become Champions in their local area to ‘Challenge attitudes and Change lives’. For more information, please contact Emily Brailsford at [email protected].

**** This film contains scenes which some people may find upsetting. We encourage you to prepare yourselves emotionally before hand and make sure you are in a place where it is safe to watch scenes portraying domestic abuse. Not suitable for children.****

This film is also available in 4 separate parts. It may be easier to watch in this format if you, or someone you know has been affected by domestic abuse. If you would like to watch in this alternative format please contact Emma Simpson on 07540 736118 or [email protected].


It shouldn't take long, just apply for 'tickets' below and let us have your name, which organisation you represent (if applicable) and contact details.

The film screening is 20 minutes followed by a Zoom.

At the Zoom we will have Hardyal Dhindsa, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire as well as representatives from Rural Action Derbyshire, The Willow Project and Rural Media.

You will receive the links to the YouTube screening and Zoom by email once booked, so please make sure you put your email information in accurately.

This launch takes place on International Women's Day, Tuesday 8th March 2021. #ChoosetoChallenge


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The Willows - Launch

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