12 March 2012Christine Barter, NSPCC Senior Research Fellow, has been acting as a consultant for the BBC series Casualty on the issue of teenage relationship violence. Following her recent research (http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research/findings/partner_exploitation_and_violence_report_wdf70129.pdf) Casualty approached Christine to ensure the issue was depicted as accurately and sensitively as possible.
Christine said, "It is important that our research findings not only influence policy and practice but also reach a wider audience and this is a fantastic opportunity to inform young people and parents".
The nature of television drama means dramatic impact is important. However, through the consultation many elements derived from research such as sexual/psychological manipulation via social media/mobile phones were incorporated into the storyline. The overall portrayal is that teenage relationship violence is widespread and has a profound impact on victims’ wellbeing.
The storyline unfolds slowly over three episodes, emphasising how difficult it can be for young victims to talk about their experiences and seek professional help. The first episode featuring the teenage girl who is the victim of violence from her boyfriend aired on the 10 March, the second on 14 April and the final episode, which uncovers the violence, will be broadcast on the 19 May.