‘Big Little Lies’ Shows That Domestic Abuse Doesn’t Always Look Like You’d Expect

A quick look at any synopsis of Big Little Lies will quickly give you the basic details on each main character — and one important thing to know about Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is that her husband abuses her in the privacy of their own home. Meanwhile, she’s the envy of everyone in Monterey thanks to her lavish mansion, effortless beauty, and the husband who’s oh-so charming in the presence of others. Big Little Lies’ depiction of domestic violence is important for a number of reasons — first and foremost, the issue doesn’t receive nearly enough representation onscreen and everyone’s latest TV obsession has now become a conversation starter. But I also give Big Little Lies major credit for showing that domestic abuse doesn’t always look or sound exactly as we might imagine it would.

The phrase “abused wife” tends to conjure up an image of a woman who cowers in fear and remains completely motionless when her husband hurts her. It’s easy (and understandable) to assume that a domestic violence victim would never dream of saying something like, “are you going to hit me again?” as Celeste does during a tense moment with Perry in the March 12 episode “Push Comes to Shove.” Those types of abuse victims absolutely exist, but so do women like Celeste — and by showing a character who sometimes hits her husband back and deliberately provokes him, viewers are challenged to look at our own preconceived notions about domestic abuse. Read the complete post.