Listening Project

Conversation between friends, Lindy and Anthea, about their experiences of domestic abuse.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    The Listening Project

  • Recording locations

    BBC Tees, Middlesbrough

  • Interviewees

    Camfield, Anthea, 1969- (female, support worker), O'Hare, Lindy, 1963- (female, charity manager)

  • Producers

    BBC Tees

  • Recordist

    Carter, Andrew

  • Abstract

    Lindy and Anthea have both been victims of domestic abuse. Lindy met her partner when she was 17 and suffered violent assaults and abuse over a ten year period while raising her four boys. She eventually walked out on him for the sake of her children and considered going back to him, only seeing sense when she realised he wasn't remotely interested in the welfare of her children when she told him her eldest had become a heroin addict. Anthea had had two failed relationships before meeting her new husband aged 39 but within seven months she'd left him after mental and physical abuse left her a broken woman. She escaped only with the clothes she stood up in. Lindy runs SODA, Survivors of Domestic Abuse, and Anthea turned to her for help when she'd left her husband. Both feel they couldn't have tried harder to make the relationships work, the men just set impossible demands and punished them for not meeting them. Both were bullied and harassed by men who were paranoid about them meeting other men and they were controlled by social media, texts, threats, beatings and a total control of when they went out and who they met. They felt that they were trapped, condemned by the children if they left, condemned by friends for staying and condemned by society for being a victim of abuse. It's about control of a person, not about them, it's always their fault, if only they did what they were told they wouldn't be beaten. Both partners used the children to spy on them, restricting access to friends, Anthea wasn't allowed a Hen Party and on her honeymoon she wasn't allowed to sunbathe in front of other men, even male presenters on television were seen as rivals. Lindy's partner blamed her fourth pregnancy on an affair that couldn't possibly have happened. Keeping his wife pregnant was a means of control, in the end her consultant recommended sterilisation to avoid another ceasarian section which could have killed her or her baby. Feelings of self-loathing, lack of confidence and isolation, and in the case of Lindy suicide, were the consequences of years of abuse. Both mothers were worried that their children would be damaged by witnessing domestic violence and Lindy's eldest boy suffered from flashbacks and turned to heroin to deal with them. Both feel guilty for not leaving sooner and for being taken advantage of when they were vulnerable and initially charmed off their feet by men who changed as soon as they got what they wanted.

  • Description

    The Listening Project conversations collectively form a picture of our lives and relationships today. Recordings were made by BBC producers of people sharing an intimate conversation, lasting up to an hour and on a topic of the speakers' choice.

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    Photograph of participants

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