A documentary about women in the United States having their children removed after experiencing domestic violence is being streamed online this weekend.
The film highlights gender discrimination inside the family courts in the US, which experts say mirror the UK family court system’s own biases.
The Global Health Film Festival, which runs from 1 – 6 December, is showing the short film as part of its week-long line-up of movies designed to inspire change.
Produced in 2017 and directed by Rachel Meyrick, “What Doesn’t Kill Me” follows 86-year-old Charlotta, who stayed in an abusive marriage to protect her son, and several other women who were separated from their children and coerced into silence about their ordeals.
The film also features lawyers and domestic violence experts who share intimate personal stories, facts about this phenomenon and honest discussions about the flaws in the system and how to fix them.
The page for the film on the festival’s website offers the following information:
“It wasn’t until her husband attacked her in public that 86-year-old Charlotta Harrison found the strength to leave. She is one of the lucky ones: every day, three women in the US are murdered by a male partner and 5 million children witness or are subject to domestic violence.
But for those who escape domestic violence, the story does not end. In the US, abusive fathers are seeking custody of their children in increasing numbers. And frighteningly – they are winning in the majority of cases. Rachel Meyrick’s directorial debut explores a terrifying trend occurring in courts all over America; abusers using the family court system to gain custody and continue the abuse, putting children in extreme danger and rendering their mothers helpless to protect them.
What Doesn’t Kill Me exposes a USA national travesty compared by some to the Catholic Church scandal but also mirrors what is happening in UK courts. In this explosive era of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement, this film illustrates to perfection gender discrimination in our court systems in which children and mothers are being actively separated from their protective parent.”
The film costs £4.49 to watch, and will be streamed on Saturday 05 December 14:30 (GMT). The purchase price includes a panel discussion about the documentary.
Many thanks to Legal Action for Women, for alerting us to this event.