Gogglebox just gave an important reminder about domestic abuse during lockdown

Posted by for Life

Here’s why Jenny’s observation on domestic abuse was so important on last night’s Gogglebox.

Gogglebox has helped viewers across the UK navigate the last two months of lockdown. There’s just something so comforting in seeing familiar faces going through the same motions as everybody else in their own homes. At a time when many of us can’t be with our loved ones, it’s nice to feel like part of the one you’re watching talk about everything and nothing. 

During this week’s episode, the show made a vital point about an issue that is affecting an increasing number of people during lockdown. 

It showed clips of Coronation Street’s coercive control storyline involving Geoff and Yasmeen Metcalfe. Viewers saw Geoff continue to abuse Yasmeen, at one point forcing her to undress in front of him and change into a red dress that was too big for her.

Jenny Newby, who is living with her friend Lee Riley, started to cry, saying: “I can’t help it, Lee. All I can think about is there’s people out there being treated like this.”     

When Lee said that was true but Coronation Street is “just a TV programme,” Jenny responded: “Well, to you it is.”

It was such a sharp reminder of what the reality of lockdown is for so many women right now.

Coronation Street
Gogglebox: Jenny responded to Coronation Street's domestic abuse storyline.

The number of calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline during the UK lockdown has increased by 49% compared to average, while domestic violence killings in the UK have “more than doubled”. According to a new survey by Women’s Aid, a shocking 67% of survivors currently experiencing domestic abuse say it has got worse since Covid-19 reached the UK and 72% say their abuser now has more control over their life.

A Women’s Aid spokesperson recently told Stylist: “Coronavirus will impact the most vulnerable in our communities. Self-isolation could make it more difficult for women to access support and safety. It may be harder for them to find time away from the perpetrator to seek help, and to practically access public spaces that often serve as access points for support, such as GPs or schools.”

If you are isolated with an abuser and need help in accessing support, or you think someone you know is in an abusive relationship, we have rounded up all the essential advice here.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence offers a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation. Text NCDV to 60777, call 0800 9702070, or visit https://www.ncdv.org.uk/

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Images: Channel 4

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…