Writing in the Metro last week, Soaps Editor, Duncan Lindsay revealed an interesting up-coming plot line in the soap, Hollyoaks.
Hollyoaks spoilers: Son and mother domestic abuse storyline revealed for Imran and Misbah Maalik. Duncan Lindsay for Metro.co.uk Wednesday 6 Dec 2017
The Maalik family in Hollyoaks are to find themselves at the centre of a hard hitting storyline next year which will see troubled teenager Imran lash out at his mum Misbah after constantly feeling isolated and sidelined in favour of his other siblings – and the unsettling incident won’t be a one off, with the domestic abuse set to get increasingly worse. Since his arrival in the show, it has been clear that Imran feels pushed out of the family somewhat – particularly due to his mum’s ongoing worry for Yasmine and her heart condition. The suicide of his father hasn’t helped Imran’s state of mind and as another situation opens up in the New Year, he will start to physically and emotionally abuse Misbah. The long running story will focus on how Misbah will try to deal with the frightening situation – torn between protecting her fragile son and also ensuring that she remains safe, she will gradually see the root of Imran’s actions but will it be too late to send him away from the destructive and violent path he finds himself on? Misbah will also need to hold down her high pressure career at the hospital while keeping the abuse a secret from the rest of the family – but could this situation destroy the Maaliks for good?
Hollyoaks is working with Family Lives and local charity Sefton Women’s And Children’s Aid on this issue storyline. The Muslim Council of Great Britain has provided cultural advice on the story. Speaking about the storyline, Harvey Virdi who plays Misbah, said: ‘Violence against parents is a taboo subject. Mothers often blame themselves, suffer in silence and live in fear and shame. I am so proud to be part of this new storyline here at Hollyoaks, exploring Misbah’s difficult relationship with her son and the impact the violence has on her and the rest of the Maalik family. Hopefully we can raise awareness and understanding around this difficult subject.’ Adolescent to parent violence occurs frequently with mothers most often the victims. It is found to be more common within single parent families. The London Metropolitan Police found that 67 per cent of cases were from son-to-mother violence. A spokesperson for Family Lives said: ‘We are very pleased to be supporting Hollyoaks to raise awareness of this important issue. We frequently receive calls to our helpline from parents who are terrified of their child, often feeling ashamed and embarrassed and don’t know what to do next. Raising awareness of the prevalence of child on parent violence is key to enabling more parents to speak out about it and find the support they need. No parent should suffer alone.’
Neil Frackleton, Chief Executive of Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid added: ‘In today’s society in the UK, popular and responsible television programmes such as Hollyoaks, have a key role to play in addressing sensitive issues including domestic or family abuse. This valuable and valued awareness raising enables people in our communities, affected by domestic or family abuse, to reach out for support and to realise they are not alone and can access help and support.’ The first instance of Imran’s abuse will air at the end of January, not long after a stunt sequence which forces Misbah to make a terrible choice when a crash traps two of her children.
Family Lives have a free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222 or you can visit their website for information and support.
Soaps are a great way to broaden awareness of issues; and the support and advice of leading charities in developing the storylines can help ensure the accuracy of the portrayal. If any Hollyoaks fans are interested in blogging about the show as this story develops, I will be pleased to hear from them!