'˜Show understanding and empathy for Roxanne Pallett'

Roxanne Pallett.Roxanne Pallett.
Roxanne Pallett.
A national domestic abuse charity has urged people to show '˜understanding and empathy' for Roxanne Pallett.

The ex-Emmerdale actor - who is due to appear in Cinderella at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre in December - left the Celebrity Big Brother house on Friday night after she told other housemates she was ‘punched’ by former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.

Mr Thomas, who was controversially issued with a formal warning by Big Brother for alleged physical contact, insisted there was ‘no malice’ in what happened and many viewers argued it was just play-fighting.

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He was not removed from the house after producers on the Channel 5 show reviewed footage of the alleged altercation.

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‘Roxanne Pallett is not welcome in Chesterfield’

Sian Hawkins, head of campaigns and public affairs at Women’s Aid, said: “Play fighting may not seem serious but if you have been in an abusive relationship it can seem frightening and even trigger memories of the abuse.

“Domestic abuse means you don’t feel safe in your home environment and, as a woman who has previously spoken about being in a violent and abusive relationship, Roxanne clearly did not feel comfortable going to sleep in the same room as someone who had physically hurt her, even if that was not his intention.

“An estimated 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse last year alone - while you might not think you know someone who has experienced domestic abuse, it is highly likely that you do.

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“That’s why it is so important for us to show understanding and empathy for someone who is clearly upset by certain behaviours rather than blaming them for overreacting.

“For any survivors out there, you are not alone.

“Women’s Aid is always here to listen to you, believe you and support you.

“If you are worried about your relationship or that of a friend or family member, you can contact the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247.”