Domestic abuse charity Women's Aid has issued a statement following Tuesday night's (June 19) episode of Love Island, cautioning that contestant Adam Collard's behaviour displays "clear warning signs" of "gaslighting and emotional abuse".
The series began to hot up in the drama stakes this week, as 26-year-old Rosie confronted 22-year-old Adam for ditching her in favour of new islander Zara. Audiences witnessed Adam tell Rosie she had "pushed him away" for daring to feel jealous at his blatant displays of flirtation with the latest addition to the villa.
But Rosie won herself a wealth of public support after she stood up to Adam, a personal trainer from Newcastle, insisting she hadn't done anything wrong in the situation.
"I don't think you have any idea how much you've hurt me and how much you've really upset me," Rosie told him, to which she received only a smirk in response.
"The worst thing is, I don't think you actually care. You're like stone," she continued.
When Rosie maintained she wasn't to blame for the situation – telling him he'll "never be happy if [he's] always looking for more" – Adam sarcastically replied: "Debatable."
And while most of Twitter blew up in anger at Adam's cutting behaviour, the Chief Executive of Women's Aid, Katie Ghose, pointed out that his actions could actually be indicative of something far more serious.
Denying any responsibility and making Rosie feel like their break-up is all her fault, Women's Aid warned, could be a form of gaslighting.
"On the latest series of Love Island, there are clear warning signs in Adam's behaviour," Ghose said in a statement. "In a relationship, a partner questioning your memory of events, trivialising your thoughts or feelings, and turning things around to blame you can be part of a pattern of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
"Last night, Rosie called out Adam's unacceptable behaviour on the show. We ask viewers to join her in recognising unhealthy behaviour in relationships and speaking out against all forms of domestic abuse – emotional as well as physical.
"It is only when we make a stand together against abuse in relationships that we will see attitudes change and an end to domestic abuse."
Research carried out by Cosmopolitan.com/uk and Women's Aid earlier this year – where more than 122,000 women were surveyed – revealed that many young women don't recognise the signs of abuse, and this is particularly common when it comes to emotional abuse.
While we're not accusing Adam of being an abuser, and neither is Women's Aid, what we are saying is that his behaviour is unacceptable. Rosie has evidently recognised this, and felt strong enough to stand up to him, but there are many people who wouldn't have been brave enough to do the same and that's when patterns can start to emerge.
The more we have conversations about this kind of thing, the more awareness there will be that abuse can come in many forms. It doesn't require a fist in the face to constitute domestic abuse, but that doesn't make emotional manipulation any less damaging.
And it's important that Women's Aid has used this opportunity to remind the millions of young women avidly watching Love Island of this.
You Might Also Like