When we think of domestic abuse, or see it depicted in movies or shows, what usually comes to mind are harsh words that lead to bruises and broken bones.

Now, a new web series by writer, producer and director Melanee Murray-Hunt aims to raise our awareness of a serious and pervasive form of abuse: coercive control.

Like an invisible cage, coercive and controlling tactics are used to deprive a person of their freedom and sense of self, even if no one else can see the prison bars.

“Coercive control can take many forms, and each experience is different, so it can be very hard to recognize,” says Carrie McManus, Director of Innovation and Programs, Sagesse. “From the outside, individual acts of coercive control can seem small or low level, but over time, these acts instill fear.”

Sagesse worked with Murray-Hunt to help amplify the conversation about coercive control through the development of her web series, The Invisible Bruise. Captured as a series of Zoom meetings, she explores the use of coercive control tactics and how they impact all facets of life.

The series was produced in partnership with Sagesse and the Artist as Changemaker Cohort at the Trico Changemakers Studio, with the support of Calgary Arts Development.

If you want to learn more about how to recognize and talk about domestic abuse, go to https://realtalk.sagesse.org