They say that life imitates art. However, there are times when movies or tv shows are written to shine a light on how lives are lived by ordinary people. New Jersey residents may have seen one such mini-series, starring actress Nicole Kidman, that highlighted the issue of domestic violence.

Kidman recently won an Emmy for her performance in the film Big Little Lies. In the series, her character plays a married woman who suffers domestic violence at the hands of her husband. Her husband appears to the world at large to be the perfect partner in contrast to his behavior when they are alone together. In part, the show deals with Kidman’s character coming to terms with the truth of their relationship.

This is a story that is repeated across the world. Abusers often portray themselves as kind, loving and attentive spouses in public, fooling almost everyone with their charm. In reality, they can be not only cruel, but manipulative, devious and controlling. Victims are usually made to feel that what happens to them is their own fault, that they have provoked these reactions from their abusers. This is far from the truth, and the abuser relies on the victim’s continued fear in order to maintain his or her control of the situation.

Some New Jersey residents may have first-hand experience of domestic violence. For those who wish to break the cycle, either seeking a safe haven or taking legal steps to exclude the abuser from the marital home is the first step. There are various legal options available to protect one from physical harm, allowing one the space to consider how he or she wishes to proceed further. With the appropriate support and advice, it is possible to move forward into a safe and happy future.

Source: Time, “Nicole Kidman Shines a Light on Domestic Abuse in Powerful Emmys Speech“, Eliana Dockterman, Sept. 17, 2017