When Love Hurts
TV One Sheds Light on Domestic Abuse Through New Film
By Lauren Poteat // PEGGY MORRIS PHOTOGRAPHY
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.3 million women will become victims of domestic abuse, with the ages of 20-24 accounting for the highest group at risk as stated by the Department of Justice.
And those stats are close to home. According to State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, a disproportionate number of Maryland’s domestic violence cases are occurring in Prince George’s.
In an attempt to draw attention to and highlight intimate partner abuse alongside the importance of strong family bonds, TV One, an American television network, held a special red carpet showing on Aug. 14 at Newton White Mansion in Upper Marlboro, Maryland of "When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story."
"[When Love Kills] is actually based on a true story,” Tia Smith, senior director of TV One original programming said. “I think this is an important story because so many women suffer silently from domestic abuse which often times stem from other issues at home. This is such a strong story and one that needed to be told.”
The film includes cast-mates Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland who plays Falicia Blakely; Tami Roman (from Basketball wives) who plays Falicia’s mother; and Lance Gross who plays Dino, the abusive boyfriend.
“I allowed myself to feel Blakely’s reasoning for her actions in order to bring the character to life,” Kirkland “Lil Mama” said. “Instead of judging her, I immersed myself fully in the way she was feeling. Everyone has been stupid for someone at one point or another and it was important to show that.”
Wanting to accurately depict situations young women who deal with domestic violence go through, film director Tasha Smith emphasized the emotional abuse that occurs long before the physical.
"It’s interesting, when you think about women going through domestic abuse, a lot of the time it’s them thinking that it’s their fault and that they have to constantly work hard to earn the love of their man just to stop the abuse." Smith said. "And I felt like in order for people to really see, believe and be affected, that the movie needed to be real and honest.
In domestic violence situations more often than not consist of a girl trying to become independent, but fall victim to a lover who uses the agenda of being a “provider” as a weapon to gain trust and then manipulate their victim as stated by Cameka L. Crawford, chief communications officer for National Domestic Violence Hotline.
“We receive calls throughout the United States on a regular basis concerning domestic abuse,” Crawford said. “This is a real issue and any opportunity to shed light on that the better. This story of Falicia is really important and people should definitely see the movie.”