By SHANI BRIARD
Melbourne-based screenwriter and director Rebecca Bentley says she hopes to help challenge the stigma surrounding male domestic abuse victims with her upcoming film Kill Me, Heal Me.
While her two previous short films, Forever and Letting Go ,have won awards on the International film festival circuit, Ms Bentley’s first feature film draws inspiration from her own experience with abuse.
“When I first moved to Melbourne in 2015 I had just got out of a relationship with a woman who abused me, and I started to write about it,” Ms Bentley said.
“Some of the lines [in the script] are very similar to things I had said to me.”
“A lot of it’s based on my story, except it’s happening to a man.”
Though based on true events, Kill Me, Heal Me explores the life of a fictional young man named Tom who, after escaping an abusive relationship with his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth, visits a therapist to confront the abuse and the traumas of his past.
Ms Bentley said she changed the main character's gender to send an important message to the people who watch her film.
“I feel like it should be equal, where everybody’s experience gets seen and I hope my film helps get the story out there and shows that anyone can be abused,” she said.
“I’ve known [male] friends that have been abused or sexually assaulted, or just acquaintances that have, and people just kind of brushed it off.
“Men struggle too and it can happen to anyone at any time.”
Kill Me, Heal Me is in pre-production. Ms Bentley said she aims to begin filming this year, in late September and October, with hopes of a festival and digital release in the near future.