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Help and Support

Durham Opera Ensemble decided to set Don Giovanni in the build-up to the #MeToo movement as the plotline of the opera can reflect what the movement did. The movement has shown how once one person speaks up about their experience of sexual assault, other women feel inspired to do the same. In the opera, Donna Elvira denounces Don Giovanni and this is the catalyst that allows the other female characters to do the same.


Although gaining traction online in 2017/2018, the #MeToo movement was founded by Tarana Burke (survivor and activist) in 2006. The idea was to ring resources and support to places in which it did not previously exist, and to build a community of advocates to stop sexual violence. After the hashtag went viral in 2017, the #MeToo movement went from a grassroots network to a global movement with millions of supporters. Today, their work continues to assist survivors from all walks of life and to disrupt the systems that allow for sexual violence with the hope that someday nobody will have to say “me too” again. The importance of their work and its relevance to Don Giovanni has greatly inspired our production team.


However, we appreciate that seeing Don Giovanni’s abusive behaviour onstage could be triggering for some. Below are a few helplines that you could contact should you be affected by the themes of sexual violence, abuse and rape culture that we explore in our production, regardless of your gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. These are based within Durham University, locally and nationally. 

Within Durham University 

Durham University Counselling Service. 
0191 334 2200 
A team of trained practitioners to help you manage any difficulties you might be facing.

Durham Nightline 
At present day they are open 9pm-7am as an instant messaging service

Local services 

North East SARC support service 
Provides a free 24/7 service for anyone who has experienced rape, sexual assault or other sexual abuse. Provides confidential advice, anonymous reporting to police on your behalf, specialist medical and forensic examinations and support through police interviews. 03333448283 

National services Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre Helpline (for women) 
Provides free confidential information and support to women and girls directly or indirectly affected by sexual violence, abuse or domestic abuse. Calls are anonymous. 
Open Monday-Thursday 10:00am-2:00pm. 
0300 222 5730 

Survivors UK (for men) 
Offers web chat helpline support to men wo have experienced sexual assault, and their families and careres. 
Open daily 12:00pm-8:00pm. 

24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 
A team of highly trained, female advisers who will not judge you or tell you what to do, they are there to listen to you. Offers free confidential calls, 24-hours a day, free online live web chats as well as having a British Sign Language interpreter service which is available Monday-Friday 10am-6pm.
0808 2000 247

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