On Saturday 15th February 2020 news hit the world that a lady called Caroline Flack had taken her own life.
I am not sure how well know this woman was outside the UK, but for those who don’t know who she is, she was a 40 year old woman, she won Strictly come dancing (dancing with the stars) a few years ago, she was a presenter on a show called Love Island and in December she was arrested for assaulting her boyfriend, which she pleaded not guilty to.
The trial was due to start on the 4th March, I didn’t know her personally and I barely knew her professionally. The above is my knowledge of her.
However I have been following the aftermath of her death, the love and support in the words coming from her friends have been heartbreaking, I have been hearing both sides of the argument about the assault charges, her boyfriend didn’t support them, but then how many other times do we hear of battered spouses not prepared to go forward with trials against their abusers. Ultimately only two people know what happened that night and one of those is now dead and will never have the opportunity to clear their name. Having said that, would she have really gotten a fair trial given the media circus round it all.
I have watched as people who were vile to her during her arrest turn around and say how shocked they are. The British public are up in arms about her treatment in the press and want the government to do something about it.
Now, this is where I go into more general terms, because this is what interests me, the public blaming the press, blaming the TV show Love Island, as since it has started Caroline Flack would be the third suicide connected to it, although this is not a great connection as the other two were contestents, she was the host and she had also left the show following her arrest.
There has always been controversy when it comes to reality shows, the fact that we are still very stuck in the Victorian era, when they use to go to madhouses to see the people that were imprisoned in there, on a day out, we just don’t have to move from our front room anymore to watch people be ridiculed, they are put on a massive stage for us all to laugh at and then we can expand on their ridicule by moving onto social media and finding them and laughing at them all over again.
Its not just Love Island, there have been many shows, X Factor, Britians got Talent, then you have what I refer to as poverty porn, Benefits Street, Can’t pay take it away. I could go on, there are now so many of them.
I am not sure when people sign up to them, they understand the deverstation that could come into their lives, people who take a dislike to them, can find them on twitter, facebook, instagram and start tearing them down and then we come on to platforms like youtube or instagram where those people start doing more and more stupid things to get the views and clicks.
You have to ask yourself why? Why do broadcasters make these programmes, why do newspapers print some really vile things, why do youtubers start and then continue to do life risking or illegal things, perhaps it could be to do with the public.
You really have to ask yourself, would corporations waste money on these things if people were not watching or buying or clicking?
Maybe rather than go after these we should take a closer look at ourselves and what we watch, what we read and what we say on social media. If we didn’t buy the newspapers, then they would either have to print something different or go bust, same with the TV shows, don’t watch them, they will not make them.
I agree that something needs to change and maybe some good can come out of this tragedy but before we start blaming everyone else, we should take a closer look at home.
If you are affected by anything above I have written, I have put in some UK numbers, I would like to encourage readers from other countries to put their own support numbers in the comments
Womans aid: https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123
www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk 0845 22 55 787
And in an emergency the Emergency services are 999