Domestic violence charity defend Roxanne Pallett after CBB abuse row

31 August 2018, 15:48 | Updated: 31 August 2018, 18:12

BAFTA TV red carpet

Women's Aid have urged Celebrity Big Brother viewers not to accuse Roxanne of "overreacting" following the drama with Ryan Thomas.

Domestic violence charity Women's Aid have issued a statement following the shock around Roxanne Pallett's ordeal on Celebrity Big Brother. 

After being "punched" by actor Ryan Thomas, Roxanne demanded his eviction before sleeping in a separate bedroom through fears for her own safety.

Women's Aid have defended the star and urged viewers not to accuse the former Emmerdale actress of "overreacting."

Charity spokesperson Sian Hawkins explained: "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."

Roxanne Pallett on the red carpet (credit - PA)

The statement continued: "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.

"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."

Domestic violence charity Women's Aid have spoken out in defence of Roxanne (Credit - GETTY)

An unearthed interview Roxanne gave to This Morning saw the actress reveal she had been in an abusive relationship with an ex

The Celebrity Big Brother star appeared on This Morning back in 2008 to discuss her Emmerdale storyline that saw character Jo Sugden experience domestic violence.

She explained back in 2008: "I have been living this storyline since Christmas and you're researching it and it brings it all back to you and it's devastating.

Roxanne added: "I can't even watch these scenes back without it choking me up.

"I was in an abusive relationship. It's hard for me because it's so close to home. It brings it all back to 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 or visit www.womensaid.org.uk.