Netflix Series “Maid” addresses Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Image provided by Netflix

By Jane Walgren

At the beginning of October, Netflix released a mini-series, “Maid,” in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The popular series, which depicted emotional abuse occurring in toxic relationships, was inspired by the real-life story and memoir of the same name, written by Stephanie Land.

Maid” follows Alex, played by actress Margaret Qualley, on her journey as a single mother working toward providing a comfortable life for her daughter Maddy. Alex fled after becoming a victim of emotional abuse at the hands of her partner Sean, played by actor Nick Robinson.

Often times Alex expresses denial of being in an abusive relationship since her partner had never physically abused her. The show attempts to bring awareness to the idea that some people are not aware that emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence and therefore many victims do not come forward.

The show’s creator Molly Smith Metzler expressed to Collider how important the topic of emotional abuse is to her and described how she decided to portray it in the show.

“It’s very rare to see it accurately portrayed on screen. It also takes time to show because it’s a corrosive sort of abuse,” said Metzler. “It doesn’t happen overnight. Nobody reaches across the table and punches you. It’s a slow, terrible grind of abuse.”

Many times throughout the plot, Alex is reluctant to receive help from others because she is hesitant to accept the fact that she is in an abusive relationship.

Title IX Coordinator at Moorpark College Priscilla Mora discussed what students can do if they believe someone is a victim of domestic abuse but do not realize it.

“I would really advise that either the friend or if the person wanted to refer their friend over to me because I will certainly talk with anyone,” expressed Mora. “It’s kind of like, you know, looking in the mirror; you only see back what you are already seeing. But if someone else can be the mirror for you, they might be able to show you something that you don’t recognize right away.”

Mora also went into detail about all of the resources that Moorpark College provides for students who are victims of domestic violence. Mora explained the importance of the Student Health Center and shared about the personal counseling they offer to students.

“A lot of students don’t realize that as part of their health fee, they are eligible for six sessions,” said Mora. “It’s really quite an amazing service.”

Mora noted that Moorpark College students can spread awareness on domestic violence by making sure information is available to others and by potentially speaking on the topic through student clubs.

Oxnard’s Coalition For Family Harmony addressed Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an announcement where executive director Caroline Prijatel-Sutton discussed what the organization offers for victims.

“Not only do we offer an emergency hotline, shelter, legal service, and counseling for immediate intervention of a domestic violence occurrence,” said Prijatel-Sutton. “We also offer unique programs to help prevent the cycle from repeating itself over and over.”

Prijatel-Sutton also noted that 80% of domestic-partner homicide victims had previously reported incidents of domestic violence and that 20% of victims are male.

“When we allow this issue to lie in the dark, we allow it to get worse,” said the organization.

Many resources are available to those who are victims of domestic violence, including The National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is available 24/7.

Moorpark College students are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center to speak with mental health professionals if they are victims of domestic abuse.