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Child Playing Scene

See the reasoning behind the descriptions lower in the page.

Character Descriptions

ALICE: Our protaganist. A women abused by her husband. Economic background is average middle class. Looks typical of women throughout the Dallas area.

ALICE is responsible for all domestic chores. Over the years, she has accepted that the family's problems are her fault for not perfoming those chores well. During her recovery, she learns she has been abused. This is at the same time comforting and jarring.

BOB: Our antagonist. The abusing husband. Educated professional. Appears to be a perfect compliment to Alice. Like Alice, an abstraction of men in the Dallas area.

Dresses well in either business or casual clothes. Handsome and polite, some even say charming. He works hard and earns a good salary for his family. He expects the household to be well run.

CHRIS: Alice and Bob's child, in second or third grade. Has no lines, but anchors the point that a family is at stake here.

DEBI: Answers the domestic abuse shelter hotline. She responds well in a crisis situation. She keeps a calm head and gets the details she needs during intake. We don't ever see her, though: she is a voice-over.

ETHEL: Greets survivors at the helter. She is calm and compassionate. She makes sure people are comfortable upon their arrival.

FAITH: Shelter support group counselor. Aptly named, as she believes that survivors can heal. She understands that different people grow at different rates. She manages a group well, letting members get in their say but still keeping everyone on track.

GINA: A fellow domestic abuse survivor. She has been residing at the shelter for almost a month. She has a sharp wit, a barbing toungue, and a loving heart. Well on the road to recovery.

HEATHER: Another abuse survivor. She has been at the shelter for about two weeks. She is upper class, on the "Southern Belle" side. Although wrestling with the concept, she understands she has been abused.

INDRA: After care group counselor. Meets with our survivors after they have stopped residing at the shelter. Similar in demeanor but firmer than Faith.

JILL: Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) counselor. Surface appearance and attitude allow Bob to think he can charm her into supporting his views. Her education, experience, and steel trap mind, however, make it quickly obvious to all things don't quite work that way with her.

Reasoning Behind the Character Descriptions

One in three women world wide will experience some form of violence against her person within her lifetime. Domestic abuse and other forms of such violence, such as battery and rape, do not honor economic, political, or social boundaries.

A Journey of Hope portrays a fictional but typical domistic abuse case, so we wanted to use an average family. As this video was produced for an abuse shelter located in the Dallas metropolitan area, we chose ALICE, BOB, and CHRIS to fit the modal characteristics of this area. But since it is a myth that domestic abuse hits lower income families harder then upper income ones, we deliberately portrayed this family as above the median income.

It is also a myth that domestic abuse does not impact upper social classes. And some believe people who are willing to stand up for their rights are not affected. But the truth is domestic abuse occurs when someone chooses to use violence against another person: neither the background nor the behavior of the survivor matters once the abuser has made this choice. Consequently we chose HEATHER's background and SARA's behavior specifically to fight these two myths.

We were fortunate to have the assistance of a batterer's counselor during the character development phase of this project. JILL's behavioral characteristics were modeled after the job requirements of such counselors.

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