There has been a flurry of news stories recently about a fictional character Helen, and her abusive husband Rob, who are involved in a long running story line in the Archers (a soap opera broadcast on radio 4).
Past victims/survivors are using it as a way to tell their story and encourage others to do the same. It may even plant the first seed of creating a plan to make a choice to leave safely.
It has got us thinking and talking about how dramatization can work to bring issues into the open making it easier for people to talk about and can make it more acceptable to discuss these issues as you are not talking about real people.
It helps to change perceptions about the ‘type’ of people affected by domestic violence and how it can happen so gradually. It also gives a glimpse of what life can be like for a victim and how it isn’t just as easy as walking away from your abuser.
Not only has it raised awareness and got people talking about domestic violence, it has been raising money. There is a just giving page set up in Helen’s name with all proceeds going to Refuge – a national domestic violence charity.
Perhaps this story, along with the money that’s been raised, can help countless victims to make the choice to improve their lives with support from their friends and family that they might not of had before.