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A troubling teen abuse story takes a tragic turn.

General Hospital Tackles Tough Teen-Abuse Story

For a little over two weeks, we've been watching the culmination of a story that began months ago. Kristina Davis, daughter of mob-boss Sonny Corinthos and attorney Alexis Davis, has been involved in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend.

We were first introduced to Kiefer when the little-seen Krista character was SORAd (Soap Opera Rapid Aging) along with her sister Molly and half-brothers Michael and Morgan about a year ago. At the time Kiefer was pressuring Kristina into sex, and later began barking orders as to how she should dress and who she should spend time with, all the time becoming more and more emotionally abusive.  At the same time, Kristina sought refuge from the older, but kind, Ethan.

When Krista canceled a date with Kiefer to throw herself at Ethan – wearing a sexy dress bought by Kiefer – it was the final straw for the unstable boyfriend and the emotional abuse turned physical.  Ethan, upset about how he'd handled Kristina's advances, went to her house to apologize and discovered the girl in the aftermath of the attack. When he tried to help her, she lashed out in fear scratching his cheek.

I have to give huge kudos to the soap for tackling a tough and very relevant issue, but are they getting it right? For the most part, I'm thankful to say, yes.

The emotional roller coaster of the victim and those who love her have been written and played out with conscious consideration and a healthy dose of reality. The twisted mind of the abuser has also been well-acted by Christian Alexander. Every aspect has been covered from the controlling of the victim to displacing the blame. In fact, only one aspect to the story that has been troubling to this long-time fan.

Kristina lied to her parents and the police about who beat her up, placing the blame at Ethan's feet. And with the DNA evidence of Ethan's skin under her nails, no one has doubted her claims.

Now, I'm fully aware this happens quite often with abuse victims, but the game changes because Kristina has been deceitful many times in the past. So, instead of the lie being viewed as a real life consequence of the abuse, many fans of the character Ethan have taken it as spoiled Kristina lying again and voiced those feelings rather loudly on several fan message boards. That single very realistic reaction has been tainted by the character's history. It would have delivered so much more punch if lying had been out of character for Kristina.

The end of last Friday's (April 2) episode set up the conclusion of this story arc, which will take place this week. Alexis has returned home. As she opened the door, Kiefer rushed past her. Alexis continues in to find Kristina battered and bloody on her living room floor. The promo for this week's shows displayed Kiefer lying on the edge of the road, leaving the viewers to wonder exactly who is going to deliver the vigilante justice.

Is this going to be a satisfying ending to a story as emotional as this one has been?  Kristina will be spared of having to testify against her abuser, but will TPTB at General Hospital slap a quick band-aid on the emotional wounds or will we see lingering after-effects for some time to come? I, of course, am hoping for the more realistic, latter, option.

The positive side of doing a story like this is the hope that it will help just one teenager who has found herself in a physically abusive relationship. The statistics show an alarming upswing to teen-abuse. The story arc has been done in conjunction with Love Shouldn't Hurt. PSAs featuring Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) and Lexi Anisworth (Kristina Davis) have appeared at the end of many episodes.

About Connie Phillips

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