Fair City star John Cronin praises the show for breaking the stigma around male victims of domestic abuse

The actor said although some scenes are hard to watch they are important and need to be seen.

Fair City character Cristiano holds pillow as abusive boyfriend Will intimidates him
Image: RTE

Fair City star John Cronin said although the scenes of domestic violence in the show are “difficult” to watch they are extremely important in the attempt to break the stigma that men can’t be victims of domestic abuse. 

Over the past few weeks, Will, John’s character in the show, has been shown beating and abusing his boyfriend Cristiano, played by Rodrigo Ternevoy. The abuse turned from emotional and manipulative to physical violence in recent episodes and John said that even he himself found certain scenes hard to watch, but he says that it is a “good thing” the distressing scenes are making so many people uncomfortable, telling The Irish Sun; “It should be hard to watch, if it wasn’t I think we’d be doing something wrong.” 

The show’s goal of breaking the stigma surround male abuse victims seems to have been effective with John’s costar Rodrigo receiving multiple messages from people about the topic. The Fair City star has been able to pass on information about support lines and services to those who need it.  

John explained that although Rodrigo is getting a lot more messages as people empathise with him as the victim, he has also had a few conversations with people about domestic violence. He spoke on the experience saying; “I did have a conversation with someone this week, we got chatting about the show in the supermarket, and this person said their brother was the victim of domestic abuse. He said they were finding it very useful that we were covering it and showing it is not exclusively women, that it can be men as well. And it’s possible men will find it harder to come forward and speak up because of the stigma.”

Fair City also deals with the more complex elements of the situation as the abuse partially stems from Will’s internalised homophobia and blaming boyfriend Cristiano because of his own distance from his family. John praised both Fair City and RTÉ on the production stating that they “really [did] their homework and [spoke] to the right people.”

As for John, his next project will have him play the victim of abuse rather than the perpetrator in the play Restoration which will be running in Dublin’s Project Arts Centre.

For anyone affected by any of the topics discussed in this piece contact AnyMan at 01 554 3811 for confidential help and support.

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