How to Help Survivors Experiencing Domestic Violence
August 30, 2023
October 28, 2021This Netflix Show MAID Waves, But Did it Fall Short?
How many times have you seen a domestic violence shelter depicted on television? Our guess is you could count it on one hand. MAID is a tiny peek into the complicated system thrust on survivors after they escape abuse, while also tackling the complications of poverty and parenthood as a survivor.
MAID on Netflix is gaining acclaim as viewers have been captivated by the story of young mother Alex who escapes her emotionally abusive boyfriend. After having a bottle thrown at her and picking the pieces out of her daughter Maddy’s hair, Alex decided she did not want Maddy to grow up in the same environment she did. She packs up a few of her belongings, including Maddy’s dollar store Ariel doll “Schmariel,” and leaves.
This show is an interesting take on displaying domestic violence on television. Often, movies and television shows romanticize abusive relationships or only portray physical forms of violence. So, it is a refreshing take on this issue, pushing the narrative of emotional abuse and intimidation into the forefront.
It is important to watch with this in mind: this story, though impactful and based on author Stephanie Land’s life story, no community is a monolith. No one individual can completely capture the experience of all survivors in their story, and it is still important to continue educating ourselves after consuming material like this because of the intersectional nature of domestic violence and the specific barriers people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and others face.
Let’s break down some of the highlights and opportunities this show had:
Opportunities for Improvement:
Several things displayed in this show might cause confusion for those who do not work in domestic violence services. It’s important that we dispel some of the myths that were perpetuated in this series.
Overall, this 10-episode Netflix installation is heartfelt and raw, an amazing step in the right direction to display survivors of violence in a more accurate way, depicting their struggles and the barriers survivors inevitably face when escaping violence. It’s a great source of education, and we recommend watching.
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