Community Service: Now In Glorious Technicolor

It has been reported that a rape crisis centre in South London experienced an 800% increase in calls after a character in ITV soap Coronation St was attacked. Carla Connor, who was due to marry her fiance and colleague Frank Foster, was raped by him in the show last week after calling off the wedding in a storyline that attracted more than a little controversy.

No, I have no clue who they are either. But I feel it only fair to give you the same info I have before you continue to read.

Many of the alleged intellectual cogniscenti who use their revered column inches to claim that soap operas, reality programming and their bastard offspring ‘dramality’ are destroying society should take note of this.

Love ’em or hate ’em, many of these shows create communities where none have previously existed. Just because these communities develop through ordinary people empathising with fictional charaters and are not geographically based (as is traditional) does not make them invalid. They’re just different. They clearly still retain the basic characteristics of a community – namely the sharing of information and the instilling of a sense of belonging.

We can sneer at them all we want. But can we really afford to when the ‘real’ neighbourhood communities we get all nostalgic about are still clearing up the mess from the rioting just a few weeks ago? Not to mention the fact that as recently as last year it was still being claimed that nine out of ten rapes go unreported.

Well. It’s probaby easier if you live in a nice area.

Image via digitalspy

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