Hollyoaks is to introduce a new hard-hitting storyline that will see Porsche McQueen (Twinnie Lee Moore) reveal that she was sexually abused by her mum’s boyfriend at the age of 15.
The C4 soap is working in conjunction with the NSPCC in order to raise awareness of child sexual abuse and viewers can expect to see Porsche reveal what happened to her to cousin Phoebe in episodes to be shown next week.
In dramatic scenes, it will emerge that despite Porsche finding the courage to tell her mum, her mum’s boyfriend Pete had then managed to persuade Reenie that her claims were false and that Porsche had in fact propositioned him.
The event, which led to Porsche and her sisters leaving the family home, will be aired again in heated prison visiting scenes between Porsche and Reenie (Zoe Lucker) next week.
A Hollyoaks spokesperson said today: “The McQueen sisters – Porsche, Celine and Cleo – came to Hollyoaks to escape from an unhappy home life and the memory of Reenie’s boyfriend, Pete.
“The sisters had never confided in each other about Pete’s inappropriate behaviour, which they had all experienced to varying degrees, so the extent of the danger he posed within the family was never revealed.
“When Pete comes back into their lives troubled Reenie desperately wants him to stay and the girls want their mum to be in a happier place – but letting him into their home brings with it devastating consequences.”
Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood added: “Viewers of the show will be aware that Marlena (Nana) McQueen, one of the show’s best loved characters, played by the fantastic actress Diane Langton, suffered sexual abuse from within the family and the research that we did found that in fact abuse can infiltrate generations.
“Her daughter, Reenie is as much the victim here as her daughters in that her own childhood was filled with such unclear boundaries that she is unable to spot the markers that mean her own girls are at risk.
“But this is not a hopeless story – far from it. It will endeavour to show that we do have the power to stop abuse and most importantly that it is possible to recover and to go on and have a happy and successful life.
“The campaign ‘no secrets’ is a simple message that can be used to encourage adults not to ask children to keep secrets and let children know that they shouldn’t have secrets either.
“It is the secrets kept by generations of this family that have led to what we will see play out on screen this year.”
NSPCC worked with Hollyoaks from the inception of the storyline and along with the programme will be offering online support during the key episodes as the charity anticipates a rise in calls from people affected by the issues raised on screen.
Zoe Lucker – who makes her Hollyoaks debut next week – said of her upcoming storyline: “We want children to know that someone asking them to keep a secret is wrong and that message needs to start at home because sadly that can still be an unsafe place for some children.”