Women's Aid Issues Warning Over Love Island 'Emotional Abuse'

Women's Aid Issues Warning Over Love Island 'Emotional Abuse'

If you’ve been as hooked on Love Island as us this season, you’ll be familiar with the drama between contestants Rosie Williams and Adam Collard. Turns out, domestic violence organisations are paying attention too – and following the pair’s heated argument on Tuesday night’s episode, one charity has publicly accused Collard of ‘emotional abuse’…
Photography: ITV

Need filling in? Audiences witnessed Williams accuse Collard of ignoring her in favour of new contestant Zara McDermott. Collard told Williams she was overreacting to his blatant displays of flirtation, accusing her of “pushing him away” with her jealousy. Standing up to him, Williams said, "I don’t think you have any idea how much you’ve hurt me and how much you’ve really upset me,” to which she received only a smirk in response.

In an official statement posted in response to their argument, Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Katie Ghose, said that Collard was showing “clear warning signs” of emotional abuse.

“In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of a pattern of gaslighting,” she said.

Praising Williams for calling the fellow Islander out on his “unacceptable” actions, Ghose said Women’s Aid was asking viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behavior in relationships and speaking out about all forms of domestic abuse – which includes emotional as well as physical.

“It is only when we make a stand together against abuse in relationships that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse,” she concluded.

Research carried out by Cosmopolitan UK  and Women's Aid earlier this year revealed that many young women don't recognise the signs of abuse, and this is particularly common when it comes to emotional abuse. Over a third of the 122,000 people surveyed had been in abusive relationships – but out of the 65% who said they hadn’t, almost two thirds had experienced potentially abusive behaviour from their partner.

As Cosmo explained, in isolation some of these ‘red flag’ behaviours may seem like small, insignificant acts – so it’s vital people consider the bigger picture and look for consistent patterns in frightening or upsetting behaviour.

Women’s Aid also stress there are many myths about domestic abuse and have shared some of the most widely-believed and deep-rooted misconceptions that are stopping victims from getting the help they need. Read the top five here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in a relationship, call the Freephone 24/7 National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Women’s Aid in partnership with Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or visit WomensAid.org.uk

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