Keira Calls Cut on Domestic Violence

Knightley stars in disturbing new PSA against domestic abuse for U.K. charity Women's Aid; Atonement's Joe Wright directed piece

By Gina Serpe Apr 02, 2009 1:40 PMTags

In the wake of Chris Brown's headline-grabbing altercation with Rihanna earlier this year, domestic violence has become a de rigueur topic of conversation on the U.S. talk show circuit.

The U.K., however, is trying to get the word out in a more viral manner.

Cut, an intentionally disturbing new PSA starring Keira Knightley and put together by the British antidomestic violence charity Women's Aid, was released today. The clip is part of the ACT campaign—to Admit domestic abuse is a problem, Call it by its name and Talk to someone.

Knightley's Atonement and Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright helmed the two-minute piece, in which the Oscar-nominated actress appears as a victimized version of herself, brutally beaten by her boyfriend.

"I wanted to take place in this advert for Women's Aid because while domestic violence exists in every section of society, we rarely hear about it," Knightley said. "We may not think we know someone who has experienced domestic violence, but this does not mean that it is not happening.

"Domestic violence affects one in four women at some point in their lifetime and kills two women every week. Without the services provided by Women's Aid, many more women could be at risk of being killed—yet without donations, the charity may not exist this time next year."

Everyone involved in making the film, including Knightley and Wright, donated their time and skills for free.