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Coercive Control – Emmerdales new storyline

While soap operas tell fictional stories, they often focus on storylines that tackle serious issue affecting real people. Emmerdale’s latest storyline focusing on the abusive relationship of Belle Dingle and Tom King show the real impact of coercive control.

Tom and Belle’s back story.

Tom and Belle recently got married, but their relationship quickly becomes toxic. Tom starts abusing Belle both physically and emotionally. He also uses technology to manipulate and control her. This portrayal shows the dangerous patterns that exists in some real-life relationships.

Understanding Coercive Control

Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse that goes beyond physical violence. It’s about power and manipulation. The abuser gradually chips away at the victim’s independence, making them feel trapped and powerless.


We had the opportunity to discuss this topic on BBC Radio Cornwall. We talked about the signs of coercive control and why seeking help is crucial. You can listen to our conversation below.

Remember, even though Tom and Belle are fictional characters, their story reflects a very real issue. There is always help available, you will be believed, you will be heard, and you will be supported.

Plymouth Run Fundraiser Smashes Target, Raising Over £3,500 For First Light

First Light is delighted to announce the resounding success of the recent Plymouth Run fundraising event, held on Sunday 28th April. A total of 13 dedicated runners, including First Light staff, service users, and teams from our charity partners, took on the challenge of the Half Marathon, 5k, and 10k races, all coming together for a common cause.

Despite the challenge of the course and the unpredictable April weather, the runners showed unwavering commitment, spurred on by the knowledge that their efforts were making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Their dedication paid off as they surpassed their fundraising target, collectively raising an impressive total of £3,640 (so far!).

Anna Mitchell, First Light’s Fundraising Officer, expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support: “The response to the Plymouth Run has been amazing! The enthusiasm and generosity of our runners, supporters, and the local community have been truly inspiring. A huge congratulations and thank you to all those who took part. Every donation will enable us to continue providing essential support services to those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

Among the participants were individuals with personal connections to the cause, including service users who have benefited firsthand from First Light’s support. Reflecting on her experience, one of the runners shared: “I ran the Plymouth Half Marathon to raise money for First Light as they helped me through the toughest time of my life; I am so grateful that because of them, I finally feel control over my own body and am able to run and raise money for such an incredible cause.

I’m feeling very, very proud and super pleased with myself as when I started in January, I could only just do a 5k.”

Other participants included teams from Venton Ltd and The Lost Gardens of Heligan, who are First Lights Charity of The Year partners for 2024.

Sophie Turton, Conference Centre Manager at Venton Ltd said: “Having the opportunity to take part in the event was a fantastic opportunity for the team at Venton. Not only have we been able to raise vital funds for the charity as part of our Charity of the Year Partnership, but the sense of achievement having completed (and ran) the whole 5K course was fantastic. The atmosphere was incredible, and we couldn’t have asked for more support from the First Light team to cheer us on.”

Rebecca Miles, Head of Marketing at The Lost Gardens of Heligan said: “I was delighted to support First Light, Heligan’s chosen charity, at the Plymouth Half Marathon this weekend. It’s a fantastic – albeit challenging – event and I’m so proud the Heligan team have raised awareness and vital funds of over £1,680 for such an important local charity.”