Coronation Street star Shelley King has admitted her concerns for those in similar situations to Yasmeen Nazir in real life being trapped indoors with domestic abusers during the coronavirus lockdown.
The actress is currently in the midst of a storyline which sees Yasmeen’s husband Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew) coercively control her through cruel treatment and gaslighting, leaving her confidence in tatters and living in fear.
Shelley hopes that Coronation Street tackling the storyline will lead to others seeking help, now more than ever.
In an interview with Metro.co.uk, she said: ‘I was really worried about news articles that domestic abuse cases are rising during the Coronavirus lockdown. People are locked together – I don’t know quite how to approach that but the National Domestic Violence Helpline is 24 hour resource and can be called on 0808 2000 247.
‘I’ve heard many stories since this story started – people have told me about relationships with their own partners, some of which they’re still in.
‘It’s that syndrome of male and female relationships for many years – women have only achieved the vote in elatively modern times. In my mother’s time, women were not supposed to work and men held the reins. That’s still the case, in many countries regardless of culture, many males regard themselves as breadwinners and treat women in ways that they want.
‘I have talked to men as well – it does happen to them too. It’s a human trait really for people who feel insecure about their own paths in life too. There’s a new disease, if you will, of men feeling threatened by women – they are experiencing a feeling of inadequacy and transfer that need of control of females in that way. It’s a complex, psychological mish mash but it’s very real and it’s everywhere.’
She added: ‘I think it is opening a conversation – we get a lot of messages from people. And there are various helplines which hopefully help people. Watching Yasmeen’s journey might help people realise they’re not alone, they’re not stupid for being trapped in this way – this person is trying to psychologically control and destroy them.
‘The threat of violence can be just as destructive as the act of violence itself. When it’s there all the time – the potential for violence and you never know how much it’s going to escalate – can be just as frightening and destructive. That’s the problem with coersion – it only recently became against the law.’
National Domestic Violence Helpline is 24 hour resource and can be called on 0808 2000 247.
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