Women’s Aid issues warning over emotional abuse on Love Island
Leading domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has warned that a Love Island contestant is exhibiting “clear warning signs” of “gaslighting and emotional abuse.”
Tuesday night’s episode saw Adam Collard, 22, smirk at his heartbroken partner Rosie Williams, 26, after she tearfully confronted him over his clear flirting with another woman, and attempt to convince her reaction had “pushed him away.”
And while the hit ITV2 show has been criticised for being exclusively heteronormative, domestic abuse, be it physically violent or emotional, taking on the forms of gaslighting or coercive control, can occur in all genders and sexualities.
Latest Stonewall figures show that almost half (49%) of gay and bi men have experienced at least one incident of abuse from a partner or family member, while 80% of trans people had experienced emotional, sexual, or physical abuse from a partner or ex-partner.
During scenes in which Williams told Collard how “hurt” and “upset” he’d made her, Collard continued to push the blame onto her, smirk, and offer the odd sarcastic response.
Lawyer Williams refused to accept she was to blame for the situation, and while audiences backed her and hit out at Personal Trainer Collard, the Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, Katie Ghose, highlighted that there may be something more sinister behind his cold actions.
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She warned that Collard’s denying responsibility and placing the blame on Williams could be a form of gaslighting.
“On the latest series of Love Island, there are clear warning signs in Adam’s behaviour,” she said in a statement.
“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 pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
“Last night, Rosie called out Adam’s unacceptable behaviour on the show. We ask viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse – 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.”
For information and support on domestic abuse you can visit Stonewall’s website or call Stonewall’s Information Service on 08000 502020 (Monday to Friday 9.30-5.30), or visit Women’s Aid website or contact them on 0808 2000 247.