Image may contain: Sitting, Floor, Wood, Flooring, Footwear, Shoe, Sleeve, Long Sleeve, Lighting, Clothing, Apparel, Human, Person

A play fighting domestic violence visited Newcastle Uni and now the director is urging students to watch online

Ending violence against women

The Open Clasp Theatre Company has joined the United Nations in their 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls.

The play is called Rattle Snake and it portrays the real life stories of survivors who have dealt with coercive control and gender-based violence.

You can watch the play online here – the campaign only has two days left to run so make sure you catch it before then.

The Newcastle based theatre company aim to spread awareness on violence and create a platform for women to share their experiences through theatre.

Image may contain: Apparel, Clothing, Lighting, Flooring, Hardwood, Plywood, Wood, Human, Person

One survivor asked that the play be used to help train the police in dealing with domestic violence. She thanked the theatre company for giving her a voice and helping her heal

Directors of the play are also encouraging the police to watch as part of their training. They're trying to reach as big an audience as possible in order to spread the message.

A letter was written to the police of North England and Wales encouraging them to watch the play.

Image may contain: Label, Menu, Document, Text, Page

The director, Catrina McHugh, visited Newcastle University last week to hold a screening of Rattle Snake and we went down to watch and join in the discussion held afterwards.

The play had an immense physical impact on the audience leaving the room in silence, choking on emotion. A tough but necessary discussion left viewers passionate about taking action on ending violence against women.

Catrina told of how the play has been used to train over 1500 police officers and staff so far on how to handle cases of domestic abuse.

It was discussed how in instances of abuse women often feel ashamed and are afraid to come forward for help as they tend to be asked questions such as "why didn't you leave?" or "why have you not said something before?". The play tackles this issue by showing how victims of coercive control and violence struggle to leave the situation from fear of loosing control.

Catrina told The Newcastle Tab: "I just want to spread the message as far as possible to make as many people aware as I can".

It was recently reported that Newcastle University allowed a student convicted of stalking and revenge porn to stay at uni for another degree.

A petition to remove stalkers from campus now has over 1600 signatures.

Similarly, one of the survivors who inspired Rattle Snake still has to face her perpetrator.

This issue was covered in the discussion and the overriding emotions were outrage and frustration.

Image may contain: Evening Dress, Gown, Robe, Fashion, Leisure Activities, Long Sleeve, Sleeve, Jeans, Denim, Suit, Coat, Overcoat, Home Decor, Accessory, Accessories, Tie, Pants, Clothing, Apparel, Person, Human

The play aims to enforce that it needs to be advocated to institutions such as universities, police forces, nightclubs and health services, that in these cases, a certain mentality should be adopted. Women should be made to feel as safe as possible, commended for their bravery in speaking out and the perpetrator must face consequences.

Catrina wants to spread awareness of coercive control and violence in relationships. She wants women to have the confidence and safety to come forward if they are suffering, give them a voice and the reassurance they will be heard and show them that they are not alone in the dark.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

‘Looks another Warwick about to happen’: I was stalked at uni, but my stalker was allowed to stay

Petition to remove convicted stalkers from campus now has over 1,600 signatures

Hundreds of students accused of stalking have been allowed to continue studying at university