Interview: The Invisible Campaign
Recently Inside Out eNews had a chance to correspond with Bradley Chippington, the creator of the invisible Campaign. Below is an excerpt of this conversation.
Inside Out eNews: Brad, can you tell us what is the Invisible Campaign?
Bradley Chippington: I began to feel disheartened that there are few campaigns of awareness for (gay) male domestic violence cases. There is more promotion for heterosexual abuse but very little for gay or bi-sexual abuse. However just because it is not being paid attention to does not mean that it isn’t happening. In fact ManKind Initiative state that there are double the case of gay or bi-sexual male cases of abuse than that of heterosexual male abuse.
My research engendered me to create the Invisible campaign. Focusing on male victims, predominantly in same sex relationships. ‘Invisible’ is how it feels being in a relationship like this, your family sometimes doesn’t know. You’re invisible to the general public, as a male walking down the road with bruises and cuts over your face you’re more likely to be looked at as someone who as been in a fight or up to no good. Not as someone that may be suffering inside.
Inside Out ENews: What raised your intrest with gay male domestic violence?
Bradley Chippington: My interest in domestic abuse in male relationships was ignited by my own experiences in an abusive relationship between 2010/12. My then partner engendered some of the most emotionally exhausting experiences of my life.
As I look back the warning signs are obvious from the beginning of our relationship, but I still fell madly in love with him. He maintained the high life lifestyle in a penthouse apartment, by escorting and appearing in porn films. He was completely the opposite of everything I was brought up to not be and instilled excitement into our relationship.
However after some time of being with him the excitement failed and only torment remained. I was threatened with my life from knives to shards of glass being slashed towards me. I’ve pulled him down from hanging himself. Every time I tried to break up with him he would lash out in violence or anger. Stabbing himself, trying to stab me. He pushed drugs into our relationship and as a crutch to his abusive nature I turned to them for relief and a means of escape.
There are countless events that I could talk about but to summarise my experience would include the following words: Verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse engendering a vicious circle of entrapment. Suffice to say I was able to get out of the relationship, but not before I was hospitalised a few times.
Inside Out eNews: That’s so Horrific! As you said, this happens daily and we cannot picture it because we sweep it under the rug where no one can see…So this project is a way of making this issue better known.
Bradley Chippington: Yes, exactly! ‘Invisible’ is built from my initial project ‘Trauma’ which touched on the personal aspects of my experiences and the emotions this conveyed. The project is generally themed as a bolder, bloody piece that concentrates on destruction and violence.
Inside Out eNews: What is the overall goal you want for this campaign?
Bradley Chippington: I want the work I create to contain a reflection of my own experiences but to build on the experiences of others. Currently I envisage a series of short films and a collection of posters, which have been designed for the victim as a method of communication saying “there is support out there and this is what you can do”, and also others aimed at awareness to the general public.
Inside Out eNews: Where can people find out more about the Invisible Campaign?
Bradley Chippington: The website www.invisiblecampaign.com has recently gone active. Plus a Twitter feed @invisible_DV which both work side by side to show people the work that I am producing for this project but to also hopefully allow people a gateway which directs them to support groups.
Inside Out eNews: We encourage you to visit Brad’s Invisible Campaign website and to follow the campaign on Twitter! We wish to thank Bradley for allowing us a peek into this project . We know it will be beneficial to pulling back the veil on this dark secret by shedding light on it!