A “probing, compassionate, respectful and ultimately important inquiry into the scourge of domestic abuse in Australia” (The Australian), revelatory documentary series See What You Made Me Do explores an epidemic that is showing no signs of slowing down.
On average, one woman a week is killed by a current or former partner in our country1 and most Australians who experience domestic abuse will never report it, meaning their abusers are never called to account.2
Hosted by investigative journalist, Jess Hill, and inspired by her award-winning book of the same name, three-part series See What You Made Me Do will ignite crucial conversations about domestic abuse and ask what needs to be done to keep women and children safer and hold perpetrators to account.
“Millions of Australians have been subjected to domestic abuse and coercive control. The time to confront it is now.” Jess Hill
Jess meets survivors who describe the shape-shifting of abusive behaviours, with violence one element among many, and talks to perpetrators and people working with them to curb their behaviours. Travelling across and outside Australia, Jess explores radical innovations which could make a seismic difference to curbing this crisis in our homes.
“Millions of Australians have been subjected to domestic abuse and coercive control. The time to confront it is now,” says Jess Hill. “Domestic abuse is a corrosive force undermining the fabric of our society, and causes immeasurable harm to individuals and families. It is still badly misunderstood, and our systems – police, courts, family law – are still a long way from being reliably protective. In fact, too often, they further enable the perpetrator and perpetuate the abuse. With this SBS series, we hope to kickstart more difficult and honest conversations – in our households, police stations and parliaments. See What You Made Me Do is paradigm-changing television.”
Giving a voice to the traumatised families left behind, See What You Made Me Do interviews the parents of Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and the family of Melbourne mother Katie Haley. We will also meet long-term activist Phil Cleary, whose sister was murdered by an ex-partner, and one episode will explore the question that Jess has so often been asked in the seven years she has investigated domestic abuse – Why doesn’t she just leave? The story of Tamica Mullaley and her son will leave you wondering how their names aren’t indelibly stamped on our national conscience.
Over two years in the making, series producer and director Tosca Looby says, “we wanted the series to be bold and unflinching. It was imperative that we unlock the gates, open the doors and pull up the blinds where abuse hides. We hope this series encourages a national conversation and bold political action, creating an impact which resonates long beyond broadcast.”
See What You Made Me Do goes to air during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month. A range of content across the network will be examining domestic abuse. The series will also be available with subtitles in six languages (Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Hindi, Punjabi and Korean) and audio description for blind or vision-impaired viewers.
See What You Made Me Do premieres 8:30pm Wednesday 5 May on SBS and SBS On Demand. The three-part series continues weekly, and every episode will be simulcast on NITV. (Episodes will be repeated at 9.30pm Sundays on SBS VICELAND from 9 May)
If this article or the documentary raises issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, please call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au. For counselling, advice and support for men who have anger, relationship or parenting issues, call the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit ntv.org.au.
- 1. This figure is informed by multiple sources, including: 1 woman was killed every week by a current or former partner between 2012-13. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia (AIHW, 2018). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-in-australia-2018/summary 1 woman was killed every 9 days and 1 man every 29 days by a partner between 2014-15 and 2015-16. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story (AIHW, 2019). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-australia-2019/contents/summary In 2019, 63 women died as a result of domestic violence: Data to 31 December 2019. ‘Counting Dead Women Australia 2019’, Destroy The Joint. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=130608758817139&id=111647810713234 In 2020, 55 women died as a result of domestic violence: Data to 28 December 2020. ‘Counting Dead Women Australia 2020’, Destroy The Joint. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=130608978817117&id=111647810713234 On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner: https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/
- 2. Eight in 10 (82%, or 226,000) women and more than 9 in 10 (97%, or 146,000) men who experienced violence from a current partner, never contacted the police. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia: continuing the national story (AIHW, 2019). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/domestic-violence/family-domestic-sexual-violence-australia-2019/contents/summary