Emmerdale slammed for ‘horrible’ Tom and Belle abuse story as viewers left divided

Recent Emmerdale episodes have seen Belle Dingle’s (Eden Taylor-Draper) abuse storyline come to a head, and it’s set to get even worse when evil husband Tom King (James Chase) lures her to a remote cottage.

This comes after he was rushed to hospital, due to striking rotatory isolator with a metal pipe. Tom had exploded in a fit of rage after finding out Belle had secretly had an abortion instead of a miscarriage, and lashed out while in the barn at Butler’s farm.

He suffered a high voltage electric shock and was declared dead after his heart stopped for a minute.

Tom King kicks an item in a barn in Emmerdale
It’s the latest development in Belle and Tom’s storyline, which has been ongoing since they tied the knot in February.

 

But Emmerdale fans are divided when it comes to this particular plot, with many feeling the story has gone on for too long.

Responding to a Metro.co.uk Facebook post asking viewers for their opinions, one user, Carol Auld, shared that they find it ‘too horrible’ and ‘awful to watch’ – despite describing the acting as ‘amazing’.

Deborah Warrington added: ‘I’m aware this has to be drawn out but it’s very uncomfortable to watch’.

Meanwhile, Sharri Davies said: ‘I’ve stopped watching now…it’s boring me’, while others branded the storyline as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘sensationalist’.

However, many have praised Emmerdale for Belle and Tom’s storyline, pointing out that this can be the reality of an abusive relationship. Some bravely shared their own experiences of coercive control.

Charley Strong wrote: ‘It took 9 years for me to be conditioned, controlled, coerced and then trapped by my ex… What’s being shown of Tom and Belle’s relationship is just a fraction of the abuse and length of time that primary victims of intimate partner abuse experience a traumatic existence.’

Viewer Sachin Chahal added: ‘Abuse can happen for years. It might not be nice to watch but it needs to be talked about. It’s like with serious illness storylines- they can’t end in a week or month. It needs to be told accurately’.

What do you think of Belle and Tom’s storyline? Have your say in the comments below

Meanwhile, Emmerdale bosses have revealed when Belle and Tom’s storyline will end, and it’s not anytime soon.

Producer Laura Shaw previously told Metro.co.uk: ‘Let’s face it, for people who are subjected to domestic abuse this isn’t something that’s over in a couple of weeks, it’s something that goes on for a long length of time and we wanted to be truthful to that.

‘I think you can expect that this stoTom King angrily pointing at a terrified Belle Dingle in Emmerdale during their abuse storylineryline is going to run until the end of this year.’

Though things seem to have come to a head in recent episodes, Laura remained tight lipped on how the ordeal will end.

‘Obviously we’ve found new twists and turns as we’ve gone through, but we’ve always had a pretty clear picture in our heads of where it would end,’ she said.

Tom King looks into a terrified Belle Dingle’s eyes in Emmerdale
Emmerdale has been working with Refuge and New Beginnings Peer Support – both of which provide support for women who have been victims of domestic abuse – on their Tom and Belle storyline.

Lindsay Olive, CEO of New Beginnings Peer Support, said the charity ‘very much welcomes’ Emmerdale’s Tom and Belle storyline, adding: ‘Domestic abuse remains a hidden pandemic and the more information in the public domain to increase awareness, the higher the chance of perpetrator behaviour being recognised and victims gaining the support they require.’

Emma Pickering, head of technology-facilitated abuse and economic empowerment at Refuge, said: ‘Refuge is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the writers and producers of Emmerdale, to develop the storyline between Tom and Belle and show viewers the sad realities of domestic abuse.’

Refuge offers free and confidential support via their 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 and digital support via live chat Monday-Friday 3-10pm via www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

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