Coronation Street has consulted domestic abuse experts for a new storyline exploring the “torture” of coercive control.
Upcoming episodes will show Geoff Metcalfe increasing his obsessive influence over Yasmeen Nazir, revealing the damage of non-physical abuse.
Charities including Women’s Aid have been consulted on the storyline, which is intended to educate viewers on the “invisible prison” created by controlling partners.
Episodes will show Metcalfe tightening his control over Nazir as he stages a robbery to be seen to protect her, and installs CCTV to watch her every move at home.
Coronation Street producer Iain Macleod said: “Many thousands of people feel trapped in relationships with someone who claims to love them but who is actually taking them apart piece by piece, isolating them from friends and family and locking them in an invisible prison of fear and insecurity.
“I hope this story will help anyone going through similar experiences in the real world by highlighting that feeling undermined, belittled, controlled or intimidated by your partner is never okay.
“The old ‘sticks and stones’ adage is just plain wrong – words can be instruments of torture and manipulation.”
Coronation Street creators have worked closely with Women’s Aid and Independent Choices Greater Manchester to craft the storyline.
Teresa Parker, of Women’s Aid, said: “Many people think that unless there is physical abuse, it doesn’t count.
“Coercive control underpins almost all abusive relationships, and Geoff has established himself at the centre of Yasmeen’s life, and manipulated her in so many ways.
“Gradually we are seeing the long-term effects of living with an abusive partner.”
Charities say that since changes in the law in 2015, this form of abuse has been classed as a criminal offence and underpins 95% of all abusive relationships.