Juliet Godwin, a newbie to Summer Bay, thinks that the emotionally intense domestic violence tale of her character would encourage real-life abuse victims to get treatment.
The actor from Zimbabwe who plays Dr. Bree Cameron on Home And Away believes it would be great if this narrative could inspire even one woman to ask for assistance.
She at least hopes that the plot, in which Bree is constantly afraid of her aggressive and controlling husband Jacob (Alex Williams, Playing For Keeps), would bring attention to one of the most serious issues in Australia and New Zealand.
Few people, including Godwin herself, were aware Bree was concealing something when she first came in Summer Bay in August.
Godwin adds, “I was incredibly pleased to get the opportunity to dive into this subject. As an actor, I entered this business because I wanted to tell meaningful stories and shed light on social concerns.
Before Jacob, who had been working away, arrived, Bree appeared to have it all. However, his arrival revealed that while her professional life was excellent, her domestic life was anything but.
Domestic abuse doesn’t make distinctions based on your occupation or salary, according to Godwin.
Anyone can experience it; in fact, anyone does. In the end, I think it’s excellent that a big media outlet like Home And Away is discussing this topic because it will help spark dialogues, and conversations spur change.
Godwin spent a lot of her own time researching domestic abuse in addition to working closely with the drama’s authors to make the plot as realistic as possible.
“Since the writers had done so much research, I talked to them about Bree’s journey and the intricacies of her relationship. And all of that was incredibly useful. I took the scripts home and continued my research after that, she says.
The actor studied a lot, watched documentaries, and participated in survivor interviews.
In addition, Godwin says, “I spent a lot of time listening to psychiatrists discuss the psychology of a narcissistic abusive relationship and what truly occurs to the victim mentally.
“As an actor, you want to uncover the truth, especially when you’re dealing with such a delicate subject, because domestic abuse affects a lot of people nowadays. I wanted to make sure that I did all within my power to honour that tale honestly.
Godwin was troubled by the scenes in which Bree was subjected to psychological and physical assault while having assignments.
Since I am an actor, I was able to find methods to distance myself from the character’s mental struggle, she adds. “The emotional turmoil the character was in was pretty confronting and, naturally, it’s hard not not occasionally carry some of it home with you,” she says.
The fact that the victims cannot take time off is probably the saddest aspect, and coming to that realisation was quite upsetting.
Since the narrative began airing, many people have reportedly questioned why women continue to be in such terrible relationships, according to Godwin.
Even though it’s not the intention, she claims that the question might occasionally come across as victim blaming.
There is a very complicated psychological backdrop to that, but my biggest wish is for people to start wondering why the abuser continues to do it. We can work toward prevention if we can address the root of the problem and find a solution, she says.
Bree is also exploring for solutions in the meantime. She has been able to conceal Jacob’s abuse from everyone up until this point, with the exception of band member Remi (Adam Rowland).
She is waiting impatiently for her husband to get back to his distant job so she may have time to consider her options, but Jacob then delivers a bombshell. He will step down and remain in Summer Bay.
Bree is frightened, Godwin declares. She was enjoying living in the bay, settling into a new home, and meeting new people before Jacob showed there.
“She’s afraid now that he’s staying. In order to avoid upsetting or enraging him, she must put on a cheerful face around him. On the inside, though, she is screaming.