The Abbotsford Police Department has teamed up with the drama program at W.J. Mouat Secondary School to create a dark and disturbing short film about domestic violence called Reveal'ution.

The idea is to get teenagers talking about healthy relationships at an early age.

"We've already been trying to figure out how do you talk to kids in school about how to start respectful relationships that aren't abusive or violent?" said Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich.  

"We realized that we needed some tools."

Bob Rich

Abbotsford Police Chief Bob Rich says his department receives one to two calls per day about domestic violence. (CBC)

Rich says Abbotsford police gets a call or two about domestic violence per day, but the vast majority of incidents go unreported.

"The interesting goal the Abbotsford Police Department has is to increase the number of reported incidents of domestic violence, so we want the number to go up, not down," he said.

Challenging Roles

The cast of Reveal'ution comes from W.J. Mouat's drama program.

Grade 12 student Tage Castonguay plays a controlling, abusive boyfriend and his classmate, Tianna Sarra, plays a terrified victim.

Tage Castonguay and Tianna Sarra

Tage Castonguay and Tianna Sarra are co-stars and longtime friends. (CBC)

"It was extremely hard to actually watch it and to kind of be okay with it," Castonguay says.

"It was really hard for me to do it, but I understand why we had to do it and why it's important."

In one scene, Castonguay's character violently grabs his girlfriend by the face and threatens her while she trembles in fear.

Sarra says her friendship with Castonguay and the rest of the cast formed a safe space that allowed her to tap into her character's sadness and vulnerability.

"We're actually like best friends," she laughs. "We've known each other since Grade 3!"

The film, which was created and produced by FireCanvas Productions, has been posted on the Abbotsford Police Department's website.

It will also be made available to other police departments and school districts.