Benji Wilson, 21 February 2019, The Telegraph
At one point in The Abused, an excellent documentary about domestic violence on Channel 5 last night, a man who had committed all manner of horrendous crimes against his own wife was arrested and charged. He protested his innocence: “If all these things had happened, why would she still be living with me?”
That was the question The Abused set out to answer with a detailed, at times deeply distressing study of two recent cases in Norfolk. Both Hazel and Kelly were brutally attacked in the same week. The first thing the police asked as they drove to the scene was “Is there any previous at that address?” the point being that with domestic abuse there’s always “previous”. Someone just has to notice.
The Abused followed the cases as they inched agonisingly towards the courts, but it also went back to footage from several months before in a bid to answer that same question: why don’t these women just get out? Three months earlier, on hearing a fight a neighbour had called the police. When they arrived Kelly told them her husband hadn’t done anything, plain-faced except for a large bump above her left eye. It was a stark reminder that domestic abuse is about control and coercion as well as violence. The film kept showing shots of the women’s hands and feet, shaking with fear.