Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Ministry hopes movie will combat domestic abuse

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) is turning to the local film industry in its efforts to promote awareness and prevention of domestic abuse.

Unveiling One-Way Ticket (單程票), the "first locally made movie on domestic abuse," Interior Minister Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) yesterday said the government wants to take its message that domestic abuse "isn't a private family matter; it's a crime" to the mainstream media.

Lee made the remarks at a ceremony marking the eighth anniversary of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (家庭暴力防治法).

Promulgated in June 1998, the law governs the handling of domestic violence cases and authorizes the issuance of civil protective orders to help victims.

The ministry has enhanced its efforts to prevent domestic abuse since the law was passed, establishing "abuse prevention centers" and boosting the number of social workers nationwide, Lee said.

This year, he said, the ministry's abuse prevention centers have handled 66,600 cases of domestic abuse, up 20 percent over last year's total. The ministry will also subsidize local-level governments from now through the end of next year to hire 600 more domestic and sexual abuse social workers across the nation, the ministry said.

"But that's still not enough," Lee said. "There are still many, many abuse cases out there."

"We're hoping this movie will improve the public's understanding of domestic abuse and get our message out there," he added.

Funded by the ministry and directed by Jofei Chen (陳若菲), the two-hour One-Way Ticket portrays the plight of a housewife who suffers physical abuse by her husband for years. The protagonist can't bring herself to leave her husband, whose emotions swing between violent rage and remorse, because she wants to give her children a stable home, Chen said.

"This is a story of weakness, of how a man uses violence to mask his weakness and how his wife is overcome by weakness in trying to leave him," Chen said.

The movie touches on major trends in domestic abuse, including abused wives' typical reluctance to end their marriages because of economic or family concerns and abusive husbands' tendency to beat their wives when job-related pressures mount, moviemakers said yesterday.

One-Way Ticket will air on Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) on Tuesday at 3:30pm and again on Hakka TV on June 24 at 8pm.

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