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Title: Domestic Violence in the Archers: Gender, Mental Health and Victim Blame
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: 2016
Abstract: Image: Helen Tichener (Louiza Patikas) and Rob Titchener (Timothy Watson) When Helen Titchener finally took a knife to abusive husband, Rob, there was a national outpouring of relief from Archers fans, who had become increasingly frustrated with the long running, apparently endless subjugation of Helen. Others had long switched off, seeing the story as a cynical step into ‘social issue’ territory best occupied by primetime television drama such as EastEnders – where storylines on drug abuse and sexual violence are regularly revisited and audiences expect those types of stories to be interwoven regularly. Whatever fans may think of the story it is certainly a success if measured in terms of raising the profile of the Archers. It also creates an opportunity to rebrand this longstanding programme as a show that is now able to deal with contemporary issues. The ‘Helen-Rob’ storyline has been discussed at length by cultural critics and has also been used as a valuable ‘hook’ to raise considerable funds for women’s support resources  but the production team now face a common dilemma that follows high-profile story arcs which have built slowly over many months – what happens next?
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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