Coronation Street Scene (Mar. 24/13)

Blaming the Victim

Kirsty’s mom listening to her tell about her situation with Tyrone. At first Alison believed her did-not-learn kirsty blaming the victimdaughter, wanted to believe her. Then you could see her face change as Kirsty’s words didn’t add up. Slips in use of “I” and “he” were caught by Alison. She heard her daughter say familiar phrases, ones that blame the victim. He makes me do it, it’s his fault I get so angry. Phrases – excuses, justifications – Alison has heard many times over the years. She has heard them from her husband, and now from her daughter.

She realized that there was violence within her daughter’s home. But it wasn’t being perpetuated by the man but rather by the woman, her daughter. You could see her mind processing this, and did-you-hit-himrealizing that sadly it made sense. She had seen nothing in Tyrone to suggest a violent nature. So she was surprised to hear that he had been charged with abusing Kirsty. Baffled even that she had so misjudged him. She wants to support Kirsty because she is her daughter and also because she knows she has let Kirsty down so many times before. She well knows that her daughter grew up amid violence and abuse. Knows that both she and Kirsty were direct victims of her husband’s violent temper. She must know too that often the abused becomes the abuser.

Victim and/or abuser

with-whatever-came-to-handAn innocent man is in jail, an abuser is free and on the streets and a small child is caught in a situation in which she too may become part of the cycle of domestic violence. Possibly vulnerable to abuse herself, certainly being in a situation in which she in later life, like Kirsty, will have to make some sort of sense of the circumstances of her upbringing.

Alison knows it’s time to stop the cycle of violence. She knows Kirsty must admit what she did, for her own sake as much as Tyrone’s and Ruby’s. She succeeds in getting through to Kirsty. Kirsty’s emotional protective wall collapsed as i-let-them-thinkher mother asked her straight out and Kirsty nodded, yes, it had been she who hit Tyrone repeatedly. Kirsty will retract her statement to the police.

But next day, apparently not realizing that telephones have been invented, Alison goes to Tina’s apartment to tell Tina and Fiz. Of course Kirsty sees her. All Kirsty’s remorse goes out the window, vengeance shall be hers. She confronts her mother with the set up job by Fiz and Tina, and her mother’s betrayal by colluding in this with Tyrone’s current girlfriend. Skilled in manipulation and aided by her mother’s already existing guilt toward her, she convinces Alison to not further betray her now.

show-him-you-are-sorrySo Alison tells Fiz that she will not help Tyrone, that her first and only obligation is to her daughter. She will let the unjust accusation and charge against Tyrone stand. She will not let her daughter down. I only hope she remembers Ruby and remembers that once before she let a little girl stay in an abusive home. She is seeing now how that worked out for that child, her daughter Kirsty.

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