What Doesn't Kill Me (2017)
Directed by Rachel Meyrick, 80 mins
It wasn’t until her husband attacked her in public that 86-year-old Charlotta Harrison found the strength to leave. She is one of the lucky ones: every day, three women in the US are murdered by a male partner and 5 million children witness or are subject to domestic violence.
But for those who escape domestic violence, the story does not end. In the US, abusive fathers are seeking custody of their children in increasing numbers. And frighteningly – they are winning in the majority of cases. Rachel Meyrick’s directorial debut explores a terrifying trend occurring in courts all over America; abusers using the family court system to gain custody and continue the abuse, putting children in extreme danger and rendering their mothers helpless to protect them.
In this bold and provocative film, mothers, lawyers, and domestic violence experts share intimate personal stories, hard-hitting facts and frank discussions about what is wrong with the system and how to fix it. The indomitable main character, 86-year-old Charlotta, stayed in her 62-year marriage in order to protect her son but you will also meet women and children who have been separated, silenced, and pushed to extreme solutions in order to escape. Hear their stories and what they’re doing to fight back.
What Doesn't Kill Me exposes a USA national travesty compared by some to the Catholic Church scandal but also mirrors what is happening in UK courts. In this explosive era of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement, this film illustrates to perfection gender discrimination in our court systems in which children and mothers are being actively separated from their protective parent.
The panel discussion was moderated by Mark Galloway, Executive Director of the International Broadcasting Trust. Mark was joined by Rachel Meyrick, director of What Doesn't Kill Me, and Hope Loudon, writer and actvist, who features in the film. Here's the replay: