Coronation Street is set to explore the past of Geoff Metcalfe (Ian Bartholomew) as part of the ongoing coercive control storyline as he continues to abuse his wife Yasmeen Nazir (Shelley King).
And it will also focus on Yasmeen’s feelings about her own past and why she has found herself vulnerable and blaming herself for her own mistakes in the past which Geoff uses against her to knock her confidence.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Shelley said: ‘Yasmeen began as quite a bombastic, strong person but we will learn more about her. As you know, her husband left, her grandson has gone away and we find out more about him next week and Alya has her own life really.
‘Yasmeen is alone in this country to an extent, she has alienated herself from her family for reasons we will learn and she is vulnerable. We will learn more about Geoff too – not to exonerate his actions but to try and look into explaining them or at least gaining some knowledge about that behaviour.’
She continued by saying: ‘I think this storyline has been courageous of Coronation Street – people these days don’t tend to tolerate long running storylines really. Soaps are famous for having extraordinary events to gain people’s attention but this has been a drip feed. I’ve heard people lasting for 30-35 years in real life in these situations.
‘I think it is opening a conversation – we get a lot of messages from people. And there are various helplines which hopefully help people. Watching Yasmeen’s journey might help people realise they’re not alone, they’re not stupid for being trapped in this way – this person is trying to psychologically control and destroy them.
‘The threat of violence can be just as destructive as the act of violence itself. When it’s there all the time – the potential for violence and you never know how much it’s going to escalate – can be just as frightening and destructive. That’s the problem with coersion – it only recently became against the law.’
Discussing her research, she went on: ‘I asked the people from the charities if there was any modus operandum that I could identify with. At first they said no but then they said the thing is, there is. A lot of men and women who perpetrate this abuse choose partners who display as being quite strong.
‘That offers a challenge to conquer and they’re attracted to the strength of the woman. The act of owning someone like that – is like getting a beautiful wild stallion or something and training it. That actual feeling of control – it’s the power. They want to gain power from controlling something else – that’s also something to look at. As we go along, we will see that.’
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