Coronation Street will be tackling the disturbing topic of coercive control relationships when the romance between Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew) and Yasmeen Nazir (Shelley King) takes a sinister turn over the coming weeks, shining a light on the form of domestic abuse.
Geoff’s increasingly controlling behaviour over his partner has already sparked speculation he is developing a darker side, and in upcoming episodes the situation escalates as he seeks to isolate Yasmeen from her family and friends. Viewers will see him stage a robbery so he can step in as Yasmeen’s ‘protector’, take over her bank account and even set up CCTV at the house to spy on her every move, all so he can make her reliant on him.
Yasmeen is at first unaware she is being manipulated and despite suspicions from granddaughter Alya Nazir (Sair Khan) Geoff continues to deceive her inner circle as his psychological grip tightens.
Corrie producer Iain MacLeod says: “Abusive behaviour is not always physical – you can damage someone profoundly without laying a figure on them. Thousands of people feel trapped in relationships with someone who claims to love them but who is actually taking them apart piece by piece, isolating them and locking them in an invisible prison of fear and insecurity.
“Often the abusive behaviours accumulate and intensify over time so that you don’t realise it’s happening – it is an insidious type of brainwashing.
“I hope this storyline will help anyone going through similar experiences in the real world by highlighting that feeling undermined, belittled, intimidated or controlled by your partner is never okay.”
The soap has worked closely with support groups Women’s Aid and Independent Choices Manchester as part of their research into the storyline, with the organisations advising on how to portray the impact of coercive abuse sensitively and realistically.
Since 2015 this form of abuse has been classed as a criminal offence, and underpins 95% of all abusive relationships. The Crown Prosecution Service recorded 960 offences of coercive and controlling behaviour in prosecutions commenced at magistrates’ court in the year ending March 2018.
The storyline comes into sharp focus on Wednesday 26th June when Yasmeen is mugged and Geoff encourages her to stay in the house so he can look after her, subtly influencing her to obey him while she is vulnerable.