The 15 Best Documentaries About Domestic Violence

Jul 30, 2023 | Best Of, Crime, People, Social

The 15 Best Documentaries About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a worldwide issue that affects millions of people, and it’s important to understand the devastating impact it can have on individuals and families. Documentaries are a powerful way to explore this difficult topic, giving us insights into what survivors go through and how we can help them heal. In this article, we take a look at fifteen of the best documentaries about domestic violence that offer an in-depth look into this heartbreaking issue. From personal stories of survival to investigations into why these crimes occur, each one provides unique insight into what it means to be affected by domestic abuse. So if you’re looking for an informative yet emotionally moving experience, read on for our list of the fifteen best documentaries about domestic violence!


The Perfect Victim (2013)

Shirley, Carlene and Ruby have all faced unimaginable horrors behind the walls of Missouri state prison. Their sentences, totaling over 85 years combined, are a result of their desperate actions against their abusive husbands. These women lived through unspeakable acts of violence; beaten, raped, sold and abused for years before finally breaking free from their living nightmares.





Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America (2010)

This gripping documentary delves into the heart-wrenching experiences of Kim, a courageous mother from Duluth, MN, who is forced to flee with her three daughters to escape domestic violence. As we witness her struggles as a single parent in search of employment, housing and safety, we are also confronted with the root causes of such brutality and the solutions that have been implemented to combat it.





Private Violence (2014)

In a country that prides itself on being a beacon of freedom and equality, it’s a sobering reality to face: for many women, the most dangerous place is not out on the streets or in some far-off war zone. It’s within the very walls of their own homes. This powerful documentary delves into this unsettling truth, shining a light on the insidious nature of domestic violence and the devastating impact it has on countless lives.





Battered (1989)

Take a deep dive into the dark reality of domestic violence in American homes with Lee Grant’s award-winning documentary. Delve into the harrowing experiences of those who have endured or are still enduring abuse at the hands of their loved ones, as well as gain insight from eye-opening conversations with the abusers themselves. With a powerful and unflinching look at this pressing issue, Grant’s documentary sheds light on a world that is all too often hidden behind closed doors. Don’t miss the re-release of this groundbreaking film in 2020.





Private Violence (2014)

The documentary, Private Violence, delves into the harsh reality that a woman’s home can be her most dangerous place. Through the perspectives of two survivors, we are exposed to the intricate and convoluted truths of domestic violence. With an unflinching tone, this film sheds light on a topic often shrouded in silence.







The Best Free Documentaries About Domestic Violence


1.  A Dangerous Silence: Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many people in the US and around the world. In this powerful documentary, Jacobe Love takes us to Columbus, Georgia where he shares stories of those affected by domestic abuse, sexual assault and teenage dating violence. He also speaks to authorities and professionals who are working hard to eradicate domestic violence in the city. Through tragic memories and regrets shared by family members, friends and experts alike we gain an understanding of how dangerous silence can be when it comes to preventing further harm from taking place. This film is essential viewing for anyone looking to learn more about domestic violence so they can help put an end to it once and for all.


2. Femicide and domestic abuse in Turkey

This documentary examines the heartbreaking reality of femicide and domestic abuse in Turkey. It follows courageous lawyer Ipek Bozkurt, who is determined to confront violence against women by working with a group of activists. The film also focuses on two cases: Arzu, married at 14 and Kübra, a successful television presenter both brutally attacked by their partners. Both want justice for what they endured but face lenient sentences from the legal system and an increasingly repressive Turkish government. Join us as we follow Ipek’s fight to seek justice for survivors of domestic abuse in Turkey.


3. The Most Dangerous Place For A Woman Is Her Own Home

Domestic violence is a serious and pervasive issue in the US. At least four women are murdered by their partners every day, yet so many of these cases go unreported or unresolved. Private Violence, an HBO documentary nominated for the Sundance award, provides insight into this heartbreaking reality through two survivors’ stories. We learn that leaving isn’t always as easy as it seems and that justice must be sought out for all victims of domestic abuse. This film sheds light on how complicated and complex intimate partner violence can be – something we must not ignore any longer.


4. Dangerous Love : Domestic Abuse

Dangerous Love: Domestic Abuse is a documentary that follows Danielle Lloyd as she reflects on her past relationship. From 2004 to 2006, she was in a violent and controlling partnership – but now, she’s determined to make sense of it all. She’ll explore the heartbreaking reality of domestic abuse with experts and survivors alike as they discuss how to protect yourself from dangerous relationships. Don’t miss this powerful story about resilience, strength, and hope!


5. Domestic Violence: Faces of Fear

We hear from victims who have suffered physical and emotional trauma as well as representatives from advocacy groups, law enforcement officials, judges and lawyers, medical professionals and mental health practitioners. Through their stories and experiences we gain insight into how to better recognize signs of abuse in order to prevent it from happening in our own communities. This powerful film also provides resources for anyone who needs help with domestic violence issues; so if you or someone you know is struggling don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance at the National Domestic Abuse Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE.


6. Behind Closed Doors

Domestic violence is a heartbreaking issue that affects many people. Behind Closed Doors gives an in-depth look into the devastating effects of domestic abuse and shows how it can happen to anyone, no matter their gender or background. This documentary follows three brave women who waive their right to anonymity to show the insidious nature of this crime. It also exposes the complex emotions involved when someone you love becomes violent and demonstrates how victims often feel like justice isn’t served when perpetrators are released from court again and again. Watch this compelling film for an extraordinary insight into domestic abuse and its consequences.


7. Domestic Abuse Survivor Reveals the Horrifying Abuse of His Wife

Tony thought he had found the love of his life when he married Tracy in 2013. Little did he know, that behind her charming facade was a woman capable of unimaginable horrors. In this documentary, Tony reveals the horrifying abuse and violence that Tracy inflicted on him during their marriage. He shares his story to shed light on the reality of domestic violence and help others living through similar experiences.


8. The Most Dangerous Place For a Woman

Domestic violence is one of the most dangerous and pervasive issues in our society. Private Violence explores this reality through two powerful stories – Deanna Walters, a mother who seeks justice for her abuse, and Kit Gruelle, an advocate looking to protect all women from domestic violence. Through their experiences we learn about the complex realities of intimate partner violence and how our institutions often fail victims when they seek help. We also gain insight into questions that have the potential to change our society: why does he abuse? Why do we turn away? And what can be done to create a future without domestic violence? Tune in now for an eye-opening look at this difficult topic.


9. Domestic Violence The Fallout : Stephen Riley

Domestic violence is a serious issue that can have lifelong consequences. This documentary focuses on the story of Stephen Riley, an Australian man whose life was forever changed by living in a household with domestic violence. Learn about the fallout from his experience and how it has affected him throughout his life.


10. Domestic Violence 101 – Raw Autobiography by Theresa Strosser

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects millions of people every year. This documentary tells the raw and powerful story of one woman’s journey to heal from her traumatic experience with domestic violence, as well as depression and PTSD. Watch this courageous tale for insight into healing from such life-threatening situations.


11. Recognising And Escaping An Abusive Relationship

Lejla was in an abusive relationship, but she didn’t realise it until her family pointed out the signs. In this documentary, Relationship psychologist Anjula Mutanda breaks down the events that led to Lejla’s brave escape from domestic violence and discusses how other victims can recognise and escape similar situations. Hear Lejla’s story as she uses her experience to give a voice to others who may have been in similar circumstances.


12. Call Me Dad: Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

This documentary follows a group of men who are determined to break the cycle of domestic violence they have caused in their own families. Led by facilitator David Nugent, these fathers come together to talk about and challenge entrenched patterns of abuse and intimidation, seeking to make different choices for themselves and their children. The film examines how patriarchal forms of masculinity can harm both women and men, as well as how sexism can isolate individuals from one another. Through conversations between the participants, viewers gain insight into what it takes for violent men to become better partners and fathers. Can these dads re-establish family? Watch Call Me Dad: Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence to find out!


13. Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence in Australia

Domestic violence is a national disgrace that has been plaguing Australia for far too long. In the past year alone, more than 60 women have died from domestic abuse and one in four women experience it at some point in their lives. The government made a pledge to put $100 million towards stopping this tragedy, but is it enough? 101 East examines this crisis by speaking with those who are victims of domestic violence, perpetrators and those on the frontline of the epidemic. Watch the documentary Behind Closed Doors: Domestic Violence in Australia to learn more about this heartbreaking issue!


14. The Conspiracy of Silence

Domestic violence is not limited to one culture or social class, and there can be no standard profile for an abuser or abused person. In this documentary, Kathleen Turner narrates the story of The Conspiracy of Silence which helps explain why the abused don’t speak up – a silent pact between the abuser and victim that hopes to avoid further violence. Featuring Denise Brown (sister of Nicole Brown Simpson), Southampton judge Deborah Kooperstein, and many others, this film will help shed light on domestic abuse in all its forms. Directed by Neal Marshad and Donna Olson, watch now!


15. ‍Emotional and Physical Abuse

Domestic violence is a major issue that affects many people around the world. In this documentary, Project Reveal takes an in-depth look at what happens inside the home of domestic abuse. We explore not only physical and sexual abuse but also emotional abuse which can be just as damaging. This film provides insight into understanding the signs of emotional abuse and how to best protect yourself from it. Learn more about the devastating effects of domestic violence today with our powerful documentary!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B