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.
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.