Reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex has been condemned by domestic abuse charity ManKind for Sam Faiers’ comments about her treatment of ex-boyfriend Joey Essex during Sunday night’s episode.
Faiers – who recently split up with Essex during the cast’s trip to Marbella – admitted during the broadcast that she had become physical with her then-fiancé during an argument the pair had whilst abroad: “In Dubai we had a massive row and I pushed him and I slapped him around the face. It was only a slap. Everyone slaps their boyfriend once, when they deserve it.”
The comments have prompted Mark Brooks, chairman of charity ManKind which provides support for male victims of domestic abuse, to speak out against the opinions expressed on the show. “Domestic abuse is never acceptable and the comments made on TOWIE were completely wrong.
“It shows that hitting a man is wrongly still viewed as acceptable when rightly the producers would never have allowed Joey Essex to make the same comment if he ever assaulted Sam Faiers. It shows the lack of acceptance by society that men are victims of domestic abuse too.”
Despite calling off their engagement during The Only Way Is Marbs episode, the pair have since been spotted enjoying dinner together amidst rumours their relationship is back on.
Broadcaster ITV – which has shown the past nine series of the reality show – has recently featured a high profile storyline on male domestic abuse on its long-running soap Coronation Street. The well-publicised relationship between Tyrone Dobbs and his aggressive partner Kirsty Soames came to a dramatic conclusion last March when she admitted to a courtroom that it was in fact her and not her partner who had been abusive.