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‘A Better Man’ turns the lens on abusers

For two harrowing years, Attiya Khan was abused by her boyfriend. When she confronted him twenty years later, he was contrite. “Attiya,” he said. “I wish I could have been a better man.”

According to Statistics Canada, “Canadians’ risk of intimate partner violence, both spousal and dating partner violence, was higher than non-spousal family violence, as well as violence committed by strangers.” Women are at higher risk than men of experiencing intimate partner violence. According to the WHO, “experiencing violence as a child has been found to be closely linked to being a victim or offender of intimate partner violence.” And the violence comes full circle, over half of spousal homicide victims had a reported history of domestic violence.

The documentary film, A Better Man, is currently in its infancy but gaining traction quickly. Since launching the Indigogo campaign four days ago, they have raised nearly half of their $75,000 goal to start production for the first phase of the film. Musicians Owen Pallett and Justin Rutledge have lent their support, as well as Feist (who contributed $10,000 to the production) and acclaimed director, Sarah Polley, who is stepping in as Executive Producer.

Khan aims to turn the lens onto the abuser, in an effort to find ways to change their attitudes and behavior towards women. It’s her belief in the ability of people to change that makes this project unique. Rather than demonizing the abuser, we can see them as people, and offer them a chance to take responsibility for their actions and make things right.

On a personal level, the creaters hope the film will “provide men who have hurt others with a vehicle for taking responsibility for their actions, changing their behaviour, and becoming part of the movement to end violence against women. Survivors of abuse will be able to hear others taking responsibility and gain some hope that broader solutions are possible.”

A Better Man may offer a hopeful alternative to being stuck in this cycle of despair. Learn more about the project and donate here.

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