A SEEMINGLY routine job for Border entertainer Steve Bowen taught him about the nature of domestic violence, previously an unknown subject for him.
Now he feels honoured to be able to spread the word.
Bowen is the face of four short films developed by Women’s Health Goulburn North East that aim to dispel myths and challenge people not to ignore warning signs.
“The idea is to create the awareness to the general public, to the general person who doesn't see it, ‘Oh, it's someone else's problem’,” Bowen said.
“What really opened my eyes for me was understanding that it's not just a black eye or a bruise or something of that nature.
“It's not just about being physically violent, it's about having power and control over somebody, over a long period of time too.”
Women’s Health Goulburn North East family violence trainer Rachael Mackay said the films tried to appeal to every person in an engaging way.
“We knew that people were bored with the academic-type of scenarios and obviously Steve brought that personality and freshness into the role as well," she said.
It's generally viewed as a dark subject, we wanted to bring it to the light.Steve Bowen
“Steve very quickly said, 'I can't do this unless I fully understand it and it comes from my heart'.
“He did a lot of training and a lot of reading and really immersed himself in the complexities of what we were talking about.”
Made with funding from the Goulburn Ovens Murray integrated family violence committee, the four films are about two minutes each.
Wearing bright clothing, Bowen talks straight to camera, encouraging people to recognise behaviour as domestic violence.
“It's generally viewed as a dark subject, we wanted to bring it to the light,” he said.
“We wanted to shine some light on it and make sure that people understand.”
Ms Mackay said people still needed to be made aware that domestic violence included a range of tactics around intimidation.
“We know that offenders think that they don't fit the category if they don't physically assault their girlfriends and wives,” she said.
The films can be viewed on YouTube and a second series is already being planned.
“Getting people to make that link between gender stereotypes and how rigid gender roles are used and violence against women,” Ms Mackay said.