This is our truth, tell us yours
Content note domestic violence.
The death of Anne Kirkbride made me think very clearly of my childhood, where coronation street was as close as we came to any regular religious worship. One scene stands out, as part of a love triangle Deirdre has to decide between Cockney wide boy lover and solid leftie husband. It was a time of three TV channels (at least where I lived) and when solid dependable Ken assaulted his wife, to stop her leaving the house I think you heard the gasp across the country.
We knew these characters, they came into our house weekly, and the writers gave each story time to develop. The only soap I follow now is The archers, the last soap which doesn’t seem to think a month is a long time for a story arc. It is currently portraying domestic violence, although I am sure some followers are unaware it is doing so. A slow, realistic story of coercive control, where Rob has slowly moulded Helen to be the stay at home mum he wants, using all the techniques of emotional and psychological manipulation that real life abusers use.
Two very different portrayal of domestic violence, but both far closer to the reality than TV will usually show. People talk about the need for shows to “highlight issues” but so often this is done in the most melodramatic way that it is impossible for almost anyone to relate to what is portrayed. when it comes to domestic violence it is so often not the body buried under the patio (Brookside jumping the shark spectacularly) but a word, a grab, a slow, almost imperceptible manipulation of what you think normality is.