The Archers: What effect has the Rob and Helen domestic abuse story had?
This Archer’s story has been timed and sensitively crafted to fit in with new legislation on controlling or coercive behaviour which came into effect in December 2015. Many news organisations have been reporting on the story’s significance, particularly recently when it reached a climax as desperate Helen sought to escape from her abusive husband Rob.
The powerful dynamics of relationships like these are often secret. Stigma, shame, fear and loyalty hold people like Helen in a powerful vice. And it’s not just women and it’s not just heterosexual relationships.
If all this feels painfully familiar ask yourself: “Who am I in this scenario? The victim, the perpetrator, the child of an abusive relationship, the friend or relative of someone struggling?” Sometimes we even have more than one role. As sufferers of abuse, we can then go onto abuse others.
With courage, your second question could be: “How am I going to break this vicious cycle?”
See the support agencies listed in the BBC article and contact Joy to get support with making sense of what is happening in your life and how you can find a way to safe and healthy relationships.