**Spoiler alert; Do not read if you have not yet seen Episode 1 of the new series on ITV, ‘Angela Black’**
The first episode of the new six-part drama Angela Black aired on Sunday 10th October. Many viewers have reported the drama as being difficult to watch with scenes of significant physical violence being shown within the first five minutes. The drama captures the physical and psychological abuse Angela Black lives through as a victim of domestic abuse from her husband.
It is important to know that domestic abuse is not just physical violence or that it is just inflicted on women. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse regardless of gender or sexual orientation. In addition to physical violence, all types of domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on victims. Types of domestic abuse include:
- Coercive control
Read more on coercive control in family law: http://wendyhopkins.co.uk/coercive-control-in-family-law/
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Emotional abuse
The drama depicts different aspects of domestic abuse, it is made clear that Angela is the victim of repeat physical attacks and coercive and controlling behaviour. When Angela tries to leave, her husband stops her and promises the violence will not happen again, yet he is unable to admit fault and unfortunately, the promise is an empty one. This is often the case when a person is being abused and they feel completely trapped in their situation. It is a horrible situation to be in.
Angela, to the outside world, appears to have a loving husband and a lovely life and maintains this appearance when around third parties. She lies to cover up what she is going through and does not take the opportunity of confiding in friends to assist. Angela must feel extremely alone and that is often the intention of the perpetrator of abuse to make the victim feel that they have no-one else.
We later on in the episode see her husband leaving an envelope of money for Angela for her to buy herself something nice following the serious physical assault. This is not uncommon, with the perpetrator of abuse looking to ‘buy-back’ the loyalty of the victim.
We also see Angela’s husband making a point about their family, and how great they are all and how awful it would be for the children if Angela were to leave, which is a significant crux for any victim to deal with in such a situation. It is clear that Angela has been completely trapped in this situation.
How to leave a relationship if you are suffering from domestic abuse?
The first step is accepting that what you are being put through is not ok, and although the prospect of leaving your partner is terrifying, you are not alone. You can of course speak to friends and family to help you as well as the police and solicitors. The police take domestic violence very seriously, as does the justice system, so once you have decided that you need help, please do not feel that you are on your own.
If you are in an abusive relationship, then there are plenty of agencies who will help you. You can contact any of the below for help:
- Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123
- 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247 for advice or the police on 101.
- Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
- Welsh Women’s Aid – 0808 80 10 800
If you feel that you, or someone else, is in danger please always call 999. If you can’t speak try to make a noise, like coughing, and then tap ‘55’ on the keypad. The police will know you need help, and will ask you to follow their instructions.
- The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
How to protect your children in an abusive relationship?
It is often the case that the victim of abuse does all that they can to protect the children from being made aware of what is going on within the four walls of their home. Sometimes children do not know, but sometimes, despite best efforts, they can witness this behaviour. It is important that they are protected from the situation as much as the victim and therefore there are ways of ensuring that not only the victim is able to escape the relationship but the children are safeguarded too.
If you are suffering any form of domestic abuse and you want to speak with one of our expert family solicitors. Contact us for professional, sensitive, and compassionate advice.
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