05 Apr SBS – See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill
3-part documentary series that explores one of the most complex and urgent issues of our time – domestic abuse. Presented by investigative journalist Jess Hill, See What You Made Me do examines the fine lines between love, abuse and power. Airing on SBS.
*Protective Group featured in episode one and two of the three-part series.
From The Guardian
Hosted by journalist Jess Hill, the SBS documentary is a challenging watch – but if victims have the courage to speak, we owe them the courage to listen
Sometimes the reasons we turn away from something – too difficult, too grim, too painful – are the very reasons we need to stay rooted to the spot, and watch.
From the opening seconds of the SBS three-part documentary series See What You Made Me Do, which premieres tonight, you know it’s going to be hard going. Emergency call recordings open the audio track, and a man speaks: “I’ve killed my partn … my ex-partner.”
“So you’ve killed your ex-partner?” the 000 operator asks.
“I’m pretty sure she’s dead yeah. She’s not moving at all. So I’m pretty sure she’s dead. Yeah.”
The statistics on domestic violence in Australia mean we all know, on an intellectual level, that calls like this happen with appalling frequency in Australia – but to be placed in the moment when a woman is actually becoming one of those statistics is a moment that gets you in the gut.
It’s a horrifying hook, but an effective one that drags you into the series, which is based on Jess Hill’s 2019 book of the same name. Hill is the host, taking us on the journalistic journey she mapped out in her book, which was an extraordinary work. There is power on every page. It was a meticulously researched piece of longform journalism that comprehensively covered a national crisis with a compelling combination of personal stories, expert interviews and reams of academic research. But to see it brought to life on the screen, with the raw power of people talking to camera, adds a gripping, heart-in-mouth dimension.
There’s the victim survivor Jessica Nitschke, who met her abuser on a dating app and within months had gone from a bright, confident career woman to a shell of a human lying listless in hospital, her life ruined. There’s the family of Katie Haley, killed by her abusive, controlling partner, sharing with us their story and their deep and unrelenting pain.
There are the former policemen who specialise in helping women out of dangerous situations, finding the tracking devices on their cars, the tiny cameras placed by perpetrators in their bedrooms and living rooms and, ominously, in their kids’ soft toys. There are the counsellors who meet women in secret rooms in shopping centres – the only safe place where they might not be followed – to plan escape, to show them the safety net that might save their lives.
Who is Jess Hill from See What You Made Me Do on SBS?
Jess has won two Walkley awards, an Amnesty International award and three Our Watch awards. Jess’s first book, See What You Made Me Do, on the phenomenon of domestic abuse and coercive control, was released in 2019 and was awarded the 2020 Stella Prize.
Recent projects include a podcast series on coercive control and patriarchy called The Trap, and a Quarterly Essay on how #MeToo has changed Australia, titled ‘The Reckoning’. Since the book was released, Jess has spoken at almost 300 public events about coercive control, and regularly conducts training and education for groups as diverse as magistrates, high school students, workplaces and local councils.