All About the People Ltd
All About the People Ltd
All About the People Ltd


The Archers storyline sees increase in domestic abuse calls!

The now infamous domestic abuse storyline on The Archers storyline began over two years ago when listeners were drip-fed with subtle instances of behaviour from Rob to his wife Helen. There were none of the usual symptoms of violence; broken bones, bruises, split lips and swollen eyelids. Instead the focus was on Rob’s persistent, systematic control and undermining of his wife. And whilst Helen was discharged in so far as the criminal proceedings are concerned, matters are not quite over between her and her abusive husband. They are still married, so the focus now turns to the Family Court as the parties become embroiled in a dispute over their two children.

But whilst the storyline had listeners gripped, the reality perhaps has been far more disturbing. As the storyline intensified earlier this year, there was a 20% increase in calls to the national domestic violence helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid. And many relationship counsellors also have been inundated with calls for help from people who have previously kept quiet about what was going on behind the closed doors of their own relationships.

Psychological and emotional abuse

What was interesting about The Archers storyline was the fact the type of characters featured in this radio drams were the not the stereotypical image of domestic abuse, Middle-class countryside farming folk are probably not the people that you would associate with such a crime. But domestic abuse does not discriminate. Regardless of class, age, career type, educational level, race, sexuality, upbringing, wealth and political views, domestic violence can affect anyone.

But unlike physical abuse, psychological and emotional abuse leaves no visible scars, which can mean that a victim’s plight is not easy to recognise. This type of abuse is a form of deliberate manipulation that is used, often by a parent or romantic partner, to maintain control. It may include verbal attacks, humiliation, verbal or physical rejection of one’s presence or conversation, intimidation, bullying, and isolation.

But it seems that the story’s has had a profound effect on abused women, who have either sought help to talk about this issue or are being educated to recognise the situation they are in and empower them to get out. Essential what this fictional storyline has done is let people that it’s ok to admit that they are a victim of abuse and let perpetrators know that it is not ok.

Fiction and Fact!

Miriam Bannon of Leamington Spa based counselling practice All About People explains. “Whilst Helen is, of course, a fictional character, her storyline is reflective and representative of thousands of women who are real life victims of domestic abuse right now. These victims live and work amongst us and the sad thing is that we may never know it or recognise that they need our help.”

She continues. “In recent months we have seen an increase in the number of calls we have received from people who have the courage to speak out and acknowledge that there is a problem with their relationship. This is a key first step and once people have asked for help, as counsellors we will do our utmost to provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment for them to talk about their problems. We just listen and hope to provide you with the right tools and strategies to bring about a healthy change in your life and to offer ongoing support and reassurance.”

Is psychological and emotional therapy for you?

Psychological and emotional abuse therapy aims to rebuild self-esteem and confidence. It also works to identify healthy relationship principles such as relationship roles, rights and responsibilities and helps in developing emotional intelligence, learning to set boundaries and modifying behaviour.

Remember manipulation is an art, and can leave the brightest, strongest person confused. Plus, it ca be hard to get perspective and strength to walk away, and often an emotionally abused person does not want to turn to friends and family for fear of hearing ‘I told you so’. As experienced relationship counsellors we offer unbiased support and create a safe environment for you to share what is going on and discuss what you would like to do next. To access our professional, specialist and confidential counselling service call 01926 882521, or email:

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