The Bruise You Can't See - theatre show.

by sarah in Saffron Walden, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th December 2019 we successfully raised £1,390 with 35 supporters in 84 days

Breaking the silence by exploring the early warning signs of domestic abuse and coercive behaviour.

by sarah in Saffron Walden, England, United Kingdom


My name is Sarah Ellis and I run a theatre company called TIC Box Productions. We have been using interactive theatre to explore issues and inspire change for the last 10 years. TIC stands for Theatre Inspiring Change and we believe theatre can get to the heart of the issue.

TIC Box are crowdfunding to raise awareness and break the silence around domestic abuse. We use interactive theatre to address inequality in society across diverse audiences.

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be a victim of domestic abuse during their lifetime.
  •  2 women per week are murdered every week in the United Kingdom by a partner or ex partner.

“At 17 years old I found myself in an abusive relationship which changed my life forever. I spent years silent about my experience, ashamed and scared people would change how they looked at me.” explains Sarah, our Founder “And this is why domestic abuse continues. So I want to break that silence. And I believe the best way is through theatre - interactive theatre. Where the audience are central and involved in the story and how to help the characters. Let’s step up and empower young people to understand what a healthy relationships looks like.”

We have written a play for young people, which highlights the early warning signs of coersive behaviour, and has been created post our extensive work exploring domestic abuse in schools with the Tender project, Essex Change and enabled by funding from the Community Safety Partnership at Uttlesford Council. The play is an interactive experience for schools/colleges where the young people in our audience take charge of the characters to explore what to do if they or someone they know find themselves in an abusive or controlling relationship. The play has toured nationwide to great success.


Our next step is to create an adult version of the play which will tour Nationwide to unconventional theatre spaces ensuring we reach a diverse audience range (not just theatre goers) and raise the awareness throughout our communities.

No matter what your age, race or sexuality is – anyone can be affected by Domestic Abuse (NSPCC 2019).

We would then aim to develop the production of a short video called THIS IS MY TRUTH, which will be rolled out free to keep the conversation and change going – enabling our message to have an even more powerful reach, as well as being targeted to groups that work with vulnerable people and domestic abuse survivors. 


TIC Box Productions are Crowdfunding for £8,000.

£5,000 will fund our Adult Version of the Play THE BRUISE YOU CAN’T SEE

  • £500 Workshops 
  • £500 Interviews & Focus Groups with survivors
  • £4,000 5 actor/facilitators devising/writing the play and rehearsing ready to tour 

Our stretch goal will then be a further £3,000 that will fund a Video Production THIS IS MY TRUTH. The video will talk about the impact of domestic abuse, highlight early warning signs and signpost where people can get help and be available online as well as being targeted. 

  • £2,000 Filming and editing
  • £1,000 Distribution with targeting to organisations and places where victims/survivors will see it. 


"Help us to challenge how our society views domestic abuse and impact the statistics faced by young people & adults in our communities."

To date, we’ve engaged over 27,000 young people and over 5,000 adults in organisations, community groups and public spaces nationwide. We aren’t just theatre – we’re also interactive so we can move beyond the obvious and deliver an embedded experience vital to make change. 

We're award winning:

  • Shortlisted European Diversity Awards 2019.
  • Finalist Community Champion Best Business Women 2019.
  • Nominated National Diversity Awards 2019 & 2018.
  • Winner High Sheriff’s Award.
  • Shortlist National Diversity Award 2017.
  • Shortlist European Diversity Awards 2016.

And we believe in our power to use theatre to connect with people and change statistics. 

We have to keep talking. To each other. To our children. To our parents. To everyone. Discussing. Defragging. Enquiring. Talk. 

We have to learn to recognise the early warning signs and signpost where people can get help. 

Survivors are everywhere. You’re looking at one. But some others aren’t. 2 women every week are murdered by a partner or ex partner in this country. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience it. We have the power to stop that statistic. 

You have the power!

We have the power. 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

£20 Mention on social media.

£40 or more

£40 reward

£40 mention on social media and the show program.

£60 or more

0 of 50 claimed

£60 Reward

£60 ticket to a performance, mention on social media and program, signed program/poster.

£80 or more

0 of 20 claimed

£80 Reward

£80 ticket to the VIP launch, mention on social media and program, signed program/poster.

£100 or more

2 of 15 claimed

£100 Reward

£100 personal filmed thank you from the cast, ticket to the VIP launch, mention on social media and program, signed program/poster.

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