In a first for Irish soap, Fair City will cover a domestic abuse story in a gay relationship.
They hope by airing this storyline, it will encourage conversation, and for those that are living this is in real life that they will be encouraged to seek out the help that they need.
Cuan Soar Women’s Refuge reports that about 25% of LGBT+ people suffer through violent or threatening relationships with partners or ex-partners, which is about the same rates as domestic abuse against heterosexual women.
As in opposite-sex couples, the problem is underreported. Ther are many parallels between LGBT people’s experience of domestic abuse to that of heterosexual women. However, there are several aspects that are unique to LGBT+ domestic abuse.
Outing as a method of control, abuse associated with sexual orientation or gender identity: for many their LGBT+ identity becomes associated with the abuse, and so they blame the abuse on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In the show, Christiano has just returned home after five weeks away; the relationship is under strain as Will has been struggling without him and is dealing with losing his family to another man.
Actors Rodrigo Ternevoy and John Cronin who play the characters, will star in a very special two-hander episode on October 16.
Rodrigo, who plays Christiano, told GCN he hopes this will help people who are experiencing similar issues to seek help:
“It’s a very strong/dark storyline, and I really hope it will bring light to the issue so people going through the same problem can reach out for help. It’s the first time an Irish soap is tackling domestic abuse with same-sex partners, and I believe it will open up the topic for discussion.”
What you can do if you are experiencing domestic abuse
You will not stop your partner’s abuse: only they can do that. However, there are things you can do to increase your safety. A safety plan can help you protect yourself against future abuse, whether you stay in the relationship, or if you leave.
You have the right to be protected from domestic abuse just as anyone else does. You can use any of the services listed below to find the support and advise you need. You do not have to give your name. They will be able to explain your options and help you plan safely.
If you were affected by any of the issues highlighted in this article, you can reach out to the following:
T: 1890 929 539 | W: www.lgbt.ie
TENI Helpline (Transgender Support)
T: 085 147 7166 | W: www.teni.ie
T: 01-872 1055 | W: www.gayswitchbaord.ie
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
T: 1800 341900 | W: www.womensaid.ie
Cuan Saor Women’s Refuge
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