Not Guilty #FreeHelen

Not Guilty #FreeHelen

2016, machine knitted acrylic
Size: 66 cm x 74 cm

I created this knitted banner to make my views clear on what I thought should be the jury’s verdict in the trial of Helen Titchener, a fictional character in BBC Radio 4’s drama, The Archers.

The storyline over a period of months showed how Helen had endured a long period of domestic abuse in the form of coercive control. This abuse led  her  to stab her husband, Rob Titchener and being charged with attempted murder.

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.Women’s Aid

This storyline received unprecedented media coverage  and highlighted how difficult coercive control is to detect.

I added the element of performance by holding the banner up outside Hastings Law courts on the day before the verdict was due. I like to inhabit my artworks; I too have been a victim of domestic violence so I was physically standing in solidarity with Helen and by gesture any other women who have been victims of domestic violence.

@BBCTheArchers featured my banner on their Facebook page where it received over one thousand likes.

BBC The Archers Facebook page features my banner

I’m happy to raise awareness of the issue of domestic abuse. Helen Titchener is a fictional character but sadly there are thousands of real Helens out there.

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