Project Description

Our Walk to Freedom

Edinburgh Women’s Aid and Shakti Women’s Aid

An older person in a hat smiles while working in a carpentry workshop OUR WALK
A participant in the Women's Aid project walks down a graffitied tunnel
Tree branches silhouetted against a clear sky
A close up on the shoes of a participant in the Women's Aid project, they are resting on a playground roundabout
Blue flowers emerge from green foliage
A participant in the Women's Aid project walks through a public park, they have hand knitted gloves

summary of project

For many women with lived experience of domestic abuse, getting a job is an important part of rebuilding their lives and identity.

As part of the Building Equality Project, Shakti Women’s Aid and Edinburgh Women’s Aid approached us to run an eight week filmmaking course, offering participants the opportunity to discuss and present their views on barriers to gaining and sustaining employment.

Edinburgh Women’s Aid wanted to use the film as a training resource, to raise awareness among employers around some of the challenges women might face.

our approach

Through group discussion, we worked with the women to create a script about issues that included finding flexible and affordable childcare, getting a visa, coping with benefit concerns, and managing the emotional impact of long term recovery.

The group presented their collective journey from a controlled and frightened position to experiencing a sense of freedom and a chance to direct their own path. The use of voiceover and creative imagery allowed everyone to present their views while remaining anonymous.

The resulting film is a powerful resource, designed to enable better understanding of the long and complex route back into work and to building a new life and sense of self. The women involved developed employability skills through media training, and each participant completed our Access to Video course, certified by Edinburgh College.

“Working in partnership with Media Education was one of the most rewarding experiences for both our staff and service users. The Media Ed workers were supportive, gentle, encouraging and enthusiastic; taking some very vulnerable women and coaching them through the process of producing their own film about a difficult subject.

The end result is incredible, empowering the women to tell their stories in their own voices. They grew in confidence and took complete ownership of the project, and with the Media Ed workers understanding the issues around domestic abuse, the final product is a testament in allowing the women to take control of the creative process.

I would work with Media Ed again at the drop of a hat!

Jan Ferguson, Edinburgh Women’s Aid, Shakti Women’s Aid
Shakti Women's Aid logo and Edinburgh Women's Aid logo


  • Building Equality Launch, Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh
    25th April 2019

  • Take One Action Film Festival, Dalry 183, Edinburgh
    30th September 2019

Media Education logo, white

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