I’ve just received the following from Michael Beakhouse, published here with his permission:
I represent a Community Interest Company (“Secret Stories C.I.C”) who’re doing some work to tackle the rise in domestic abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic.
I wondered if you might be able to share the details of a domestic abuse initiative for men we’re working on, as we designed it specifically for health and social care practitioners and the people they support?
My Social Work News recently ran a feature on it and the controversial reception it’s had at https://www.mysocialworknews.com/article/controversial-radio-drama-tulips-designed-for-health-and-social-care-workers-explores-domestic-violence-against-men-and-women
A group of actors in the South have volunteered their time to record a radio play called “Tulips”.
“Tulips” tells the story of two people who are unsure whether they are in abusive relationships.
But while other dramas have portrayed female victims of domestic abuse, “Tulips” is the first piece of mainstream drama in almost 30 years to focus on male victims.
While domestic abuse against men is sometimes shown on television (for example, in a recent episodes of “24 Hours In Police Custody”, “Casualty” and “Coronation Street”) – “Tulips” raises such hitherto-unanswered questions as:
- How does a man find himself in an abusive relationship – and why does he stay?
- What would a man do if the only support services available to him were designed and branded for women?
- How can support services create safe spaces for women while also supporting men?
The story is inspired by an incident where a nurse treated a male domestic abuse victim and, upon searching for a support service they could refer him on to, could only find somewhere called the “Tulip Project”. Afterwards she wondered whether the branding would’ve deterred the man from seeking help.
In writing the story, I drew upon many true cases – and while the characters are fictional, the events portrayed (and the words and actions of the abusers) are true.
My hope was that this would enable listeners – male and female – to recognise the signs of an abusive relationship, and to seek help in escaping them.
Indeed, the play has previously been performed live for and praised by a range of support services (including the Army Welfare Unit, the M.O.D. Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) – with some practitioners stating that they will use the play as a tool to support male victims.
So with domestic abuse cases rising across the nation, Secret Stories have partnered with South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell to release “Tulips” as a free radio drama, [1:26:53] which is streaming at www.southhillpark.org.uk/events/tulips from the 9th April – 31st May.
We are also running a free Zoom Q&A / discussion session with the cast and crew at 7.30pm on 5th May; spaces can be booked at https://www.southhillpark.org.uk/events/tulips-zoom-qa/. We’re especially keen to welcome people who have feedback about the play, and/or would like to get involved in its future.
If the run is successful and generates positive feedback, this will help Secret Stories to find a backer for a proposed independent film adaptation of the story (the screenplay for which is currently being developed), which would create more opportunities for local actors and film-makers.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries. I would like to note that although the radio play focuses on domestic abuse in relation to men, it is in no way anti-women. The play features female victims of domestic abuse as well as male; has an equal number of male and female characters (and a female lead character); and makes a point which is perhaps sometime overlooked – every male victim has female family members who suffer along with them. [J4MB: And male family members, too.]
Arts Correspondent (The Wokingham Paper): www.wokinghampaper.co.uk/author/michael-beakhouse/
Our last general election manifesto is here.
If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.
Nobody connected with J4MB has ever drawn any personal income from the party’s income streams. If you’d like to support Mike Buchanan financially, you can do so via his Patreon account or through Bitcoin, his account address is 1EfWxqDAtgJDCR3tVpvVj4fXSuUu4S9WJf . Thank you.