'A Better Man' to be screened in Sudbury

Imagine sitting down across from someone who physically abused you more than 20 years ago.
A Better Man is a documentary that features Attiya Khan who sits down with Steve, her former boyfriend who used to physically abuse her. (Facebook/A Better Man- Northern Ontario Film Premiere)

Imagine sitting down across from someone who physically abused you more than 20 years ago.

That's what Toronto-based Attiya Khan did with her former boyfriend Steve.

Khan decided to share her story of being physically abused. She worked with a filmmaker to create the documentary A Better Man. Khan and her ex-boyfriend Steve sat down with counselor Tod Augusta-Scott.

"I do think it says a lot about Steve that he was willing to go on this journey of facing up and trying to repair what he had done all those years ago," said Augusta-Scott.

"I've been doing this work for 20 years … many men come to the realization that they want to study and stop their own violence and repair it."

Powerful to see

Augusta-Scott says there are many reasons why some people turn to violence in relationships, including having control to having experienced trauma in the past.

"In the early days when we were doing this work, we really thought all these men were the same and that it was all high-risk, chronic violence cases," he said.

Tod Augusta-Scott is the counselor featured in the documentary A Better Man. (Supplied/Tod Augusta-Scott)

"What I've come to realize is that this is quite a range with the men that I talk with. Some men are ready to make the change immediately. Some men do need six months or twelve months to begin to seriously make those changes."

He says he's shown the documentary to other men who have abused others.

"Their response was that it was very powerful for them to see another man facing up and taking responsibility like Steve does in this film," he said.

"What the film highlights, is just what is possible. It does have a powerful influence Attiya's life and her sense of safety."

A Better Man will be screened Wednesday evening at the Sheridan Auditorium at Sudbury Secondary School at 7 p.m. It is part of the Sudbury Indie Cinema's Women in Film Wednesday series.