Women’s Aid Statement On Love Island: What Has The Charity Said About The Show?

Once again, Women's Aid has been forced to comment on the boys' troubling behaviour.

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by Marianna Manson |

As sure as the sun will rise over the neon-lit Majorcan villa and a new catchphrase will be coined (‘I licked her tit, or whatever’ is certainly a front-runner), it’s pretty much guaranteed that Love Island will shine a light on problematic behaviour when it comes to dating.

While the UK collectively fumes at the shady dealings of the male Islanders, the charity Women’s Aid has taken to social media to issue a stark statement.

What has Women’s Aid said about Love Island?

Following Luca Bish’s recent row with Gemma Owen following an explosive Movie Night – where clips from the series are shown to Islanders showing potentially provocative behaviour from their other halves – the charity confirmed they were ‘in talks’ with ITV and wrote on Instagram, ‘Following heightened backlash after a recent episode, we are happy to be in discussions with @ITV @LoveIsland about how we can work together moving forward.

‘We are being tagged into a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers of Love Island highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen.

‘This is clearly more than talking about any individual contestants, and a programme based around the formation of romantic relationships must have guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in those relationships.’

Teresa Parker, head of communications and media relations at Women's Aid, added, ‘We are talking to ITV, and they have shared with us information on their inclusion training, but what appears to be missing is specific information on abusive relationships and an understanding of controlling behaviour in relationships. It is vital that producers know when to intervene and challenge unacceptable behaviour. Women's Aid has offered to help, and we want to assure people tagging us into posts that we are in conversation with ITV and the Love Island producers about what we can do moving forward to help address this.’

It's not the first time Women’s Aid have commented on the events unfolding in the villa, notably in 2019 when Islander Joe Garratt was called out online over his ‘emotionally manipulative’ treatment of Lucie Donlan.

‘Controlling behaviour is never acceptable, and with Love Island viewers complaining to Ofcom in record numbers about Joe's possessive behaviour towards Lucie, more people are becoming aware of this and want to challenge it,’ they said at the time.

‘Abusive relationships often start off with subtle signs of control, so it’s important that it is recognised at an early stage. Love Island viewers are now very vocal in calling out unhealthy behaviour between couples on the show, and this is a positive development.’

And while new/old boy Adam Collard appears to be an unexpected voice of reason amidst the chaos in the 2022 villa, when he first appeared on the show in 2018 his actions prompted Women’s Aid to release their first ever statement in response to his ‘gaslighting’ of Rosie Williams, bringing the term to public consciousness for the first time.

Speaking this year after Adam’s return to the villa – the first in the show’s history – the charity said, ‘In the 2018 series of Love Island, we saw Rosie rightly call out Adam for his unacceptable behaviour, which included gaslighting and emotional abuse.

‘We hope that ITV recognise how serious this issue is and that it must be learned from, considering they have asked Adam to return to the show. Love Island is watched by many young people and we know what a huge influence it has. Producers must make sure there is support for contestants throughout, and intervene if relationships become unhealthy or abusive.’

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