Dealing with family violence – part two

Dealing with family violence – part two

This is the second of a two-part video that offers help and advice to make sure you and your children are safe if you’re experiencing family violence. In part two Jess has left the house she shared with Ben, taking Reagan with her. Ben must face the fact that it was his own actions and behaviour that caused Jess to leave.

This video is part of the When separating series of videos that includes Dealing with family violence – part one.

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Text: When separating. Dealing with family violence – part two. Victoria Legal Aid Lawyers And Services.

Text (next screen): Some of the scenes in this film may be confronting, however, it is also a story of hope and change. The story is not based on any particular family, and reflects the experience of thousands of Australian women, men and children affected by family and domestic violence.

Text: Three months earlier.

[Gentle piano music plays]

[Jess stands at the kitchen sink doing dishes as Reagan sits at a table with colouring books.]

[Ben walks into shot and embraces Jess from behind.]

Ben: Look, I’m really sorry, Baby. Alright? [Exhales]

Do you want a cup of tea? Yeah?

Jess: Yeah.

Ben: Why don’t you go play with Reagan. I’ll do this. Go on.

[Jess begins to walk towards Reagan and then stops and turns to face Ben.]

Jess: Look, I don’t like it when you call me names like you did last night.

Ben: You’re being too sensitive, Jess.

[The scene dissolves to white with a transitional whooshing effect.]

[Ben sits in an office with a male counsellor.]

Text: Counsellor.

Counsellor: At what point did you choose to pick up a chair?

Ben: I don’t know. I just…when I picked it up…just…just did it.

Counsellor: And, looking back, how could you have acted differently?

Ben: [Inhales and clears throat] I dunno. Maybe I could have gone outside for a bit. Ah, could of.

Counsellor: If a stranger came into your house and behaved the way that you did towards Jess, would you think that was OK?

Ben: No.

Counsellor: What are you feeling now? What have you realised?

Ben: I’m sorry. I just want Jess to see how sorry I am.

Counsellor: But you’ve apologised lots of times before, right? And who carries the hurt?

Ben: Jess. And Reagan.

Counsellor: Who needs to carry the hurt? Whose responsibility is it?

Ben: It’s mine.

Counsellor: So, Ben, how does all this fit into the person that you want to be?

[The scene dissolves to white with a transitional whooshing effect.]

Text: One month earlier.

[Ben sits at the couch and hurriedly picks up his wallet from a side table, emptying its money into his pocket.]

[Jess enters the room in a floral dress.]

Jess: Can I have some money?

Ben: What for?

Jess: Buy some food for Reagan and I. We’re going to Michelle’s, remember?

[Ben picks up his wallet and hands it to Jess who opens it but finds no money.]

Jess: I’ll see if Michelle can pick us up.

Ben: So you leave me alone again…

[Jess walks a few steps away, picks up her mobile phone and dials a number.]

Jess: Hey. I don’t have any cash. Would you mind? [Exhales] You’re the best. Thanks. Bye.

[Jess hangs up and looks angrily at Ben.]

[The scene dissolves to white with a transitional whooshing effect]

[Ben pulls a sports bag out of the back passenger seat of his car and walks towards a friend who stands in the doorway a house.]

[Vision shows Ben and his male friend sitting at an outdoor setting at night.]

Ben: I just want to see her. Just want to talk to her.

Friend: Don’t even go there, mate. Don’t even let yourself think about it. Ben, you’ve brought this on yourself.

Ben: I’m not that bad, am I?

Friend: Only you can answer that. I really think you should go and talk to someone.

[The scene changes to Ben and his friend carrying boxes into a living room.]

Ben: I’ll just get my clothes.

[The friend exhales and walks into the kitchen. He looks at something on the fridge with concern.]

[Vision shows Ben packing clothes into a box and walking downstairs to his friend who is still standing in front of the fridge. Ben grabs the family portrait from the fridge and shoves it into the top of his box.]

[Vision shows Ben and his friend parking pulling up to the curb in a red hatchback. Ben sits in the passenger seat as his friend pulls on the handbrake and turns to him.]

Friend: I’m not gonna make you go.

Ben: Just drive me here and book the appointment?

Friend: [Chuckles] Ring me when you’re finished.

Ben exits the car.

[Vision shows Ben sitting pensively in front of the counsellor. Ben picks up the family portrait that Reagan drew. The camera scans across the drawing, focusing on the two unhappy female figures, the youngest of which has tears streaming from her face.]

[Gentle piano music plays]

[Footage shows of Jess and Reagan sitting at a table and playing happily with dolls.]

[Ben steps out of his counselling session and walks slowly up the street.]

Text: The information in these films is a general guide to the law. You should not rely on these films as legal advice. It is recommended you talk to a lawyer about our particular situation. © 2012 Legal Aid WA. This film has been adapted from resources produced by the Legal Aid WA When separating project. Victoria Legal Aid thanks Legal Aid WA for permission to reproduce this content. This information is copyright. All persons or organisations wanting to reproduce this material should get permission from Legal Aid WA.

Text (next screen): Where to get help

If you or your children feel unsafe or are at risk of violence you should call the police quickly at 000

Victoria Legal Aid Legal Help

Tel: 9269 0120 or 1800 677 402 (country callers)

For your nearest community legal centre:

Tel: 9652 1500

Family Relationship Advice Line

Tel: 1800 050 321