The popular BBC Radio 4 soap opera The Archers struck a chord with listeners last week, after a shocking turn of events featured in the drama’s domestic abuse storyline.

Over the past two years the show has captivated audiences across the country through its domestic abuse storyline.  The radio drama has used the issue as a core theme in the tale of the once confident and outgoing Helen who, at the hands of her husband Rob, is reduced to a timid and anxious shell of the woman she once was.

The plot thickened recently, with Helen stabbing Rob in an act of desperation following prolonged emotional abuse.  Since last week’s episode, it has been reported that the programme attracted a record-breaking number of listeners, which has since been followed by a flurry of news articles stressing the real-life issue of domestic abuse.  Following the episode, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders has since spoken out on the issue, saying ‘real-life Robs’ are being brought to justice in a crack-down on domestic abuse across the UK.  Although the programme has been criticised by some for giving listeners an uncomfortable experience, many women have identified with Helen’s situation and have begun reaching out for help.

This increase in attention surrounding the issue only emphasises the ever-growing need for domestic abuse charities.  Without us, many sufferers would be left without the support they need.

In 2014-15, Swansea Women’s Aid provided the following support. We:

  • Provided 106 women and 63 children with safe accommodation.
  • Supported 687 women in the local community through services such as a 24-hour helpline and specialist counselling, with 85% of women reporting an increase in safety.
  • Helped 100% of children attending the STAR programme to better able themselves, 95% of which are now able to recognise that domestic abuse is not their fault.
  • Improved the lives of 82% of women supported in safe houses through an active and healthy lifestyle.

By providing specialist support to women with, or without children, who are or have experienced domestic abuse, Swansea Women’s Aid tackles all types of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse does not discriminate – it can happen to anyone.  If you feel that you may be suffering from domestic abuse, our knowledgeable support workers are at hand to help.  Call our free 24-hour helpline on 01792 644 683 or our national helpline on 0808 80 10 to get the support you need. Or if the Helen and Rob storyline has prompted you to recognise the need for our services and you would like to make a donation or volunteer to help we would be delighted to hear from you.