The Bruise You Can’t See explores the early warning signs of controlling behaviour in teenage girlfriend/boyfriend relationships.

Targeted to Year 10 upwards. 

Your students become part of the piece, actively exploring the early warning signs of unhealthy and abusive behaviour, what healthy relationships look like, the various forms of abusive behaviour and how to access help and support.

Suzie’s dating the guy everyone wants to date. He’s funny, charming and the fittest boy in the year. He’s always there for her and she increasingly spends all her time with him. But sometimes it feels a bit much and she seems to be getting things wrong more and more. And her friends seemed to have disappeared and no one seems to understand it’s not going as well as it looks.

THE BRUISE YOU CAN’T SEE has been created from our extensive work exploring domestic abuse in schools with the Tender project and Essex Change.

1 in 2 young women have experienced controlling behaviour in a relationship

1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be a victim of domestic abuse during their lifetime. 

Arming our future adults with the skills to not only recognise unhealthy and controlling behaviour but also how to deal with it and not enter further into relationships that aren’t’ healthy.

“It was an incredible experience, very interactive and highly engaging” Teacher.

“I now understand when domestic violence starts and what to do.”Student.

“At 17 years old I found myself in an abusive relationship which changed my life forever. I spent years silent about my experience, ashamed and scared people would change how they looked at me.” explains Sarah, our Founder “And this is why domestic abuse continues. So I want to break that silence. And I believe the best way is through theatre – interactive theatre. Where the audience are central and involved in the story and how to help the characters. Let’s step up and empower young people to understand what a healthy relationships looks like.”

We have written a play for young people, which highlights the early warning signs of coersive behaviour, and has been created post our extensive work exploring domestic abuse in schools with the Tender project, Essex Change and enabled by funding from the Community Safety Partnership at Uttlesford Council. The play is an interactive experience for schools/colleges where the young people in our audience take charge of the characters to explore what to do if they or someone they know find themselves in an abusive or controlling relationship. The play has toured nationwide to great success.

Our next step is to create an adult version of the play which will tour Nationwide to unconventional theatre spaces ensuring we reach a diverse audience range (not just theatre goers) and raise the awareness throughout our communities.

No matter what your age, race or sexuality is – anyone can be affected by Domestic Abuse (NSPCC 2019).

We would then aim to develop the production of a short video called THIS IS MY TRUTH, which will be rolled out free to keep the conversation and change going – enabling our message to have an even more powerful reach, as well as being targeted to groups that work with vulnerable people and domestic abuse survivors.

“Help us to challenge how our society views domestic abuse and impact the statistics faced by young people & adults in our communities.”

And we believe in our power to use theatre to connect with people and change statistics.

We have to keep talking. To each other. To our children. To our parents. To everyone. Discussing. Defragging. Enquiring. Talk.

We have to learn to recognise the early warning signs and signpost where people can get help.

Survivors are everywhere. You’re looking at one. But some others aren’t. 2 women every week are murdered by a partner or ex partner in this country. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience it. We have the power to stop that statistic.

You have the power!

We have the power.