Gripping Video Examines Difficulties of Recognizing Emotional Abuse in Relationships

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In a striking video for BuzzFeed, Brittany Ashley and Ali Vingiano produced a 15 minute short film that examines a type of abuse that often isn’t so readily seen: emotional abuse. I should say right here that this video likely should be prefaced with a content warning regarding emotional abuse and possibly language. As well, there’s conversation about sex and a short shower scene, but no nudity is shown. That latter warning was mostly for you folks reading at work. That’s okay, we all do it.

Ashley and Vingiano discussed their thought process behind what went into making this gripping video in a conversation with the Huffington Post. Vingiano said, “We wanted to show how hard it can be to realize you’re in an unhealthy relationship, and how abuse isn’t always physical.”

What’s especially nice about the video is that it doesn’t focus on the heteronormative image of an abusive relationship; e.g., a male/female couple. They juxtapose the image of a heterosexual couple with the image of a lesbian couple, raising awareness that emotional abuse knows no gender bounds. “We hadn’t seen emotional abuse honestly depicted much in TV or media, and we especially hadn’t seen a story showing it within a lesbian relationship,” said Vingiano.

I found myself really appreciating the writing that went into this video, as well as the performances from all involved. As well, I found myself resonating with Ashley’s character in a lot of ways.

This video is well worth checking out. If you do find yourself resonating and believe that you’re in an abusive relationship, the Love Is Respect website has some resources for you. Be kind and take care of yourselves out there, okay?

(via Hello Giggles)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.