Men's domestic abuse charity voices concern with Love Island

EXCLUSIVE: Domestic abuse charity calls on Love Island to ‘apply the same welfare standards to men’ after the girls were accused of ‘gaslighting and manipulation’ in ‘toxic femininity’ row

  • Men’s domestic abuse charity Mankind Initiative are ‘monitoring the show closely’ after viewers raised concern about their mental health
  • Love Island’s 2023 duty of care protocols included enhanced training around behaviour in relationships and was applied to all Islanders
  • Latest teasers, exclusives and updates for Winter Love Island 2023 right here

A men’s domestic abuse charity has voiced their concerns over the ‘gaslighting and manipulation’ of the male Love Island contestants. 

In recent weeks the ITV show has been embroiled in a ‘toxic femininity’ row after women on the show reduced some of the male contestants to tears.

Fans have complained to Ofcom about the behaviour of the female contestants, accusing them of double standards by condemning the men for actions that they themselves have been guilty of. 

In a statement shared with MailOnline, Mankind Initiative called on show bosses to ensure they offer the same duty of care they would to female contestants. 

It read: ‘Love Island has once again showed that when it comes to abusive behaviours against partners such as manipulation and gaslighting, it affects men as well as women as victims.’

Upsetting: A men’s domestic abuse charity has called on Love Island to ‘apply the same standards to men’ after the girls were accused of ‘gaslighting and manipulation’ (pictured: Shaq Muhammad being consoled by Tom Clare after Tanya Manhenga left him in tears)

‘The producers need to make sure they apply the same standards to the male contestants as they have had been forced to in recent years for female contestants. 

‘We and our supporters are monitoring the show closely.’

Love Island’s duty of care protocol ensures that are all Islanders have access to a welfare team that is solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.

Prior to entering the villa, contestants were also offered training on how to avoid gaslighting and controlling behaviour in relationships. 

This included being sent links to ‘read up on, in advance of meeting their fellow Islanders, to help them identify negative behaviours in relationships and understand the behaviour patterns associated with controlling and coercive behaviour’.

Stars were also offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and microaggressions.

The training was offered to all Islanders with the same duty of care protocol offered to both male and female contestants.  

MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment. 

Tension: Tanya Manhenga, 22, (pictured) Olivia Hawkins, 27, and Australian Jessie Wynter , 26, are widely considered the ringleaders in the villa

ManKind Initiative have previously raised their concerns about the treatment of male Islanders after 25,000 complaints were made to Ofcom surrounding Faye Winter’s treatment of Teddy Soares during the 2021 series.  

Mark Brooks, Chair of the ManKind Initiative domestic abuse charity for male victims, said at the time: ‘We are really pleased with the level of complaints to Ofcom from the public.

‘They have made their views very clear that the behaviour shown in the episode was not acceptable and that includes when a man is on the receiving end. 

‘That is exactly the sort of response we had wished for. It clearly shows how far the public has changed its attitude over the last 10 years in recognising that when this happens to a man, it has to be taken seriously.

‘Soon after the episode was broadcast some members of the public on social media said it would not have been shown if the genders were reversed which we agree.’

‘However, it does clearly remind us all though that men can be, and are, victims of this behaviour and it is not only women.’

In the past Love Island has been condemned by women’s charities for the behaviour of the males, with Women’s Aid staging talks with ITV after being concerned by the ‘misogyny and controlling behaviour’ shown in the Love Island villa. 

This year, the women have been accused of the same behaviour with viewers fearing for the mental health of the show’s male stars.

Meanwhile, a source told MailOnline that the ‘Love Island holds a mirror up to relationships and all the different dynamics that go with them.’ 

Love Island duty of care protocols in full – ahead of 2023 series

The full duty of care process is outlined below:

Pre Filming and Filming

– Registered mental health professional engaged throughout the whole series – from pre-filming to aftercare.

– Thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, psychological consultant and reports from each Islander’s own GP to check medical history.

– Potential Islanders are required to fully disclose in confidence any medical history that would be relevant to their inclusion in the Villa and the production’s ability to provide a suitable environment for them.

– Managing cast expectations: detailed explanations both verbally and in writing of the implications, both positive and negative, of taking part in the series are given to potential cast members throughout the casting process and reinforced within the contract so it is clear.

– Cast are told they should consider all the potential implications of taking part in the show and work through this decision-making process in consultation with their family and those closest to them, to ensure they feel it is right for them.

– Senior Team on the ground have received training in Mental Health First Aid.

– A welfare team solely dedicated to the Islanders both during the show and after.


– Bespoke training on dealing with social media and advice on finance and adjusting to life back home.

– A minimum of eight therapy sessions will be offered to each Islander when they return home.

– Proactive contact with Islanders for a period of 14 months after the series in which they have appeared has ended, with additional help provided where applicable.

– We encourage Islanders to secure management to represent them after the show and manage them should they choose to take part in other TV shows, advertising campaigns or other public appearance opportunities.

Tanya Manhenga, 22, Olivia Hawkins, 27, and Australian Jessie Wynter, 26, are widely considered the ringleaders in the villa.

After the Islanders returned from Casa Amor – a second villa where the Islanders are tempted to stray from their partners – tensions begin to flare as they all learned of each other’s antics. 

Despite saying that she was in love with Shaq Muhammad, Tanya’s head was turned in Casa Amor and she returned to the main villa with Martin Akinola.

She was accused by viewers of then toying with the two men’s emotions as she chose who to ultimately couple up with. 

A visibly shocked Martin was left humiliated when she insisted that she was open to getting to know him before publicly confessing her love for Shaq and admitting that they’d kissed the night before. 

Tensions then boiled over during the annual Movie Night, with Shaq forced to watch clips of Tanya kiss Martin and flirt with him in Casa Amor despite insisting to Shaq that she hadn’t initiated any racy behaviour.   

Tanya then continued to downplay the antics and state that Shaq had no reason to be upset with her. 

Shaq was left in tears after their row and had to be consoled by fellow Islander Tom Clare.

Meanwhile, farmer Will Young burst into tears after the women jumped to the defence of Jessie Wynter when he kissed another cast member while in Casa Amor. 

However, not one of the women condemned Tanya for her behaiour.

Olivia Hawkins also rounded on contestant Ron Hall for criticising her, despite footage of her making derogatory remarks about other couples, none of which was challenged by the other women.

In addition, Ron was ridiculed and made to feel he was in the wrong for appearing to encourage his fellow male contestants to give new arrivals in Casa Amor a chance.

Yet the women, led by Jessie, were shown to have done the exact same thing in the villa.

Controversy: Love Island has been embroiled in a ‘toxic femininity’ row after women on the show reduced some of the male contestants to tears

This year’s female line-up has been branded the most ‘manipulative and toxic’ in the history of the show. 

One male viewer said: ‘I’ve never complained to Ofcom but I have tonight. Emotional abuse and bullying isn’t a joke – Tanya and Olivia need talking to.’

A female viewer wrote on Twitter: ‘I never thought I’d be siding with the men. Some of these women are toxic,’ while another tweeted: ‘Toxic femininity at its finest.’

Another wrote: ‘This women empowerment is too toxic for me. It doesn’t hurt to be self-aware, babe. And a bunch of you need to look in the mirror.’

An ITV spokesman said that contestants are trained in inclusive language and behaviour, creating safe spaces and being a good ally.

During the show, Tanya did not apologise to Shaq for her actions which later led to a clash between the pair that later descended into an almighty row. 

Fans slammed Tanya for her ‘self-centred and immature’ behaviour, urging producer’s to send in a new partner for him.

One person penned on Twitter: ‘Shaq crying outside the Villa.. his showing guys have feelings, just we don’t try to show it In front of girls.. Yeah give him the 50k now, he’s won over everyone.’

Another added: ‘Shaq crying actually was upsetting to see… Tanya is very self-centered and immature. He deserves better.’

‘Shaq is way too mature for this game. He deserves so much better,’ a third agreed.

Someone else wrote: ‘Most emotional moment so far in this show was seeing Shaq try hard not to cry with Tom comforting him outside the villa and the other islanders would never know how much he’s having to deal with.’

Anger: Twitter was full of furious commenters after the feud, angry at Tanya’s behaviour and that she made him cry

Earlier in the show, Shaq reacted to the Movie Night clip of Tanya kissing Martin, he said: ‘So it was just a peck, yeah, and he went to kiss you? So we’re lying now?’

But Tanya stood her ground and said: ‘If you’re looking for something to be angry about, this isn’t it.’ 

The confrontation led to Shaq later saying to the boys: ‘I cant lie, I feel like she’s a liar, I feel like she’s full of s**t.’

Tanya became irritated, telling Olivia that she did not know what else to do and she felt she kept having to prove her love for Shaq. 

After Tanya ignored Shaq in the kitchen, he left the villa, later crying as he spoke to friend Tom.

READ MORE: Love Island is ‘hit with Ofcom complaints by fans over alleged racism and bullying towards Zara Lackenby-Brown’

Twitter was full of furious commenters after the feud, angry at Tanya’s behaviour.

One person wrote: ‘Tanya is actually the WORST person on #loveisland. Biggest gaslighter and hypocrite. Shaq deserves much better.’

Another added: ‘Tanya don’t deserve Shaq’ while a third said: ‘Tanya continues to prove she is too emotionally IMMATURE to be in a relationship.

The emotional manipulation she uses on Shaq to continuously justify her bad behaviour is actually MAD… honestly this whole lot of girls left can be chucked. Well except Sanam.’

Meanwhile, a separate person penned: ‘Not Tanya saying the old shaq is back and she doesn’t like it as soon as he shows human emotion… genuine gaslighting! It’s not an old version of him, he’s just hurt and reacting to your b********!’ 

Love Island was also reportedly hit with Ofcom complaints over ‘alleged racism and bullying’ towards former contestant on this year’s show Zara Lackenby-Brown.

A total of 122 complaints for the matter were recorded to Ofcom in recent weeks. 

A total of 78 viewers also made complaints related to ‘alleged manipulative and misogynistic behaviour from other contestants,’ while 59 complaints accused contestant Tom Clare of ‘alleged aggressive behaviour’. 

Ofcom is not investigating the complaints. 

On Thursday night, fans were quick to accuse the girls of hypocrisy during Thursday’s Movie Night, as they reprimanded the boys for their behaviour in Casa Amor.

In a tense episode, the girls, and Tanya in particular, failed to hold back from slamming the boys for their antics, despite struggling to stay loyal themselves.

Many fans noted that the boys were getting far more of the blame for Casa Amor even though the girls were also tempted to stray.

This also came as many of the girls seemed to conveniently ignore a clip which saw Olivia state she’d already forgotten about Kai during Casa Amor, somewhat proving Ron’s claims that she was ‘playing a game.’

One viewer tweeted: ‘These girls trying to compete with who had it worse. NONE OF YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE HYPOCRITES.’

Another added: ‘This group of girls on Love Island are the biggest bunch of hypocrites. I really dislike them together. Special mentions to Olivia and Tanya.’

A third added: ‘These girls are hypocrties nobody has given Tanya the same energy they gave the boys. She did 100% the same thing. First season where I prefer the boys.’

Fuming: Fans were also quick to accuse the girls of being ‘hypocrites’ as they reprimanded the boys for their behaviour in Casa Amor during the Movie Night episode

‘All the girls are massive hypocrites because how are you all so mad at the way the boys acted but have no problem with tanya literally breaking Shaq’s heart bye,’ one raging viewer posted.

Another angry fan tweeted: ‘I’m so bored of watching the boys grovel every episode, mainly because the girls are over-dramatising everything! Tanya did worse than all boys put together and she’s not had half as much grief.’

‘Never in my years of living did I think I would be supporting men over girls in Love Island,’ a viewer tweeted.

Clearly furious by the scenes, one viewer also posted: ‘I might actually write an Ofcom report about these girls.’

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