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can you see me image 2 copyA ground-breaking new film focusing on the issue of domestic abuse in teenage relationships will be given its UK premiere at Herefordshire’s Borderlines Film Festival next month. “Can you see me?” – a  20 minute film funded by community retailer The Midcounties Co-operative, has been developed in partnership with national Women’s Aid, West Mercia Women’s Aid and the film’s producer The Rural Media Company.

It will be screened on Wednesday 6 March at 2pm at The Courtyard and is open to the public.

The film explores the concept of teenage relationship abuse by focusing on an unhealthy relationship between two teenagers, Jake and Ellie. Together with an educational resource and tailored lesson plans, it will subsequently be made available nationwide and free of charge to schools and youth workers.

Midcounties funded the £40,000 education project after supporting Women’s Aid as its charity partner for two years and raising £330,000 for its work.

The film and education pack is designed to help young people understand the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships and their rights and responsibilities in a relationship. It will also help them to look out for warning signs and to know where to go for support for themselves or their peers..

Maxine Sharman, Head of Community Engagement at Midcounties, said: “We are proud to have raised much needed funds for Women’s Aid but we also recognised the importance of raising awareness too in order to help break the cycle of domestic violence.

“Working with young people to educate them on what is and what is not acceptable in a relationship seemed exactly the right thing to do. We believe this project, as a legacy of our charity partnership, will make a positive difference.

“It is also timely as from March the government’s definition of domestic violence will be widened to include those aged 16 to 17, to increase awareness and encourage more young people to come forward and access the support they need.”

Polly Neate, CEO of Women's Aid, said: "At Women's Aid we know that young people are affected by domestic violence in their very first relationships, so it is vital that we reach out to young people and talk about abuse in relationships in a way that is relevant to them.

“Through our partnership with Rural Media and West Mercia Women’s Aid we were able to develop the 'Can You See Me?' film and lesson plans using characters and settings that young people can relate to, to help them understand domestic violence and know how to keep themselves and their friends safe. Education and prevention are key to ending domestic violence, and Women's Aid is grateful to the Midcounties Co-operative for supporting this project and helping us to work towards this goal."

Schools can access the education pack via the website at