Background to the Pulled Both Ways Project
Glynis Wright a family lawyer and partner at Nelsons Law & Soft Touch Arts have been working on Pulled Both Ways since 2017. The project has won awards for its ground-breaking and innovative approach to a challenging issue which touches on so many children’s lives. The project has used short films to highlight the emotional effects of parental divorce on children when handled insensitively by parents.
Two sets of films were made by young people in 2017 and 2018 and we’re now moving on to stage 3 of the project with another film planned which asks parents how they could have done things better when looking at custody of children during and after divorce and/or highlighting how they handled things well.
The project idea came about in response to the stark statistics around divorce and the negative impacts on children. Soft Touch’s experience of running issue-based projects helped offer groups of young people (many with lived experience of family divorce) the opportunity to share their stories of being caught in the middle of divorce, using film. The parents were often so caught up in their own emotions they were not considering those of their children and how this might affect them when negotiating custody and other divorce issues. The children end up literally being pulled both ways.
So far the project has created 6 powerful and thought-provoking short films. The 2017 films aim to encourage parents to consider mediation as an option which has better outcomes for children through the divorce process, and the 2018 films put across the emotional impact on children.
The engagement and creative process allowed the films to be scripted and directed by young people in collaboration with Soft Touch Arts film makers. As well as giving children and young people the opportunity to have their stories and voices heard and to help others in their situation, the project gave young people new filmmaking and communication skills and something they could be proud of. With both the 2017 and 2018 projects, showcase events at Showcase Cinema in Highcross and Soft Touch Arts were organised and the young people attended the premieres of their film to an invited audience of friends, family, local dignitaries and law professionals.
The films can be seen here:
2018 – 3 films
2017 – 3 films