Refuge responds to The Archers’ ‘not guilty’ verdict


Responding to the news that The Archers’ character Helen Titchener has been found ‘not guilty’ of attempting to murder her abusive husband, Sandra Horley, CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

“Along with the rest of the country, Refuge breathed a sigh of relief when Helen Titchener was cleared of all charges in The Archers.

“When Helen stabbed her abusive husband Rob, she felt extremely threatened by an aggressive man. The jury has vindicated Helen’s actions and the verdict showed an understanding of the complex impacts of domestic abuse and controlling behaviour. Helen endured Rob’s Jekyll and Hyde behaviour for years – living in fear that she would be hit or raped again, fearing for her child’s safety. Helen responded to the dangerous circumstances in which she found herself. She protected herself and her son.

“During the trial, Helen had to go through the trauma of facing her abuser in court and revealing the extent of her abuse. I hope that she will be reunited with her little boy as soon as possible so they can access specialist support from an organisation like Refuge and begin to rebuild their lives.

“The trial of Helen Titchener may now be over, but the impact of The Archers’ storyline will continue. By broadcasting such a realistic portrayal of abuse, the BBC has shone a light on the insidious, controlling nature of domestic violence and raised unprecedented awareness of an issue that has long been considered taboo. Refuge is grateful to The Archers’ team for bringing the daily reality of abuse into people’s living rooms and kitchens – now, more women will know how to recognise abuse and where to get support.”

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