EastEnders is working with Rape Crisis on an upcoming autumn storyline that will explore the subject of consent after Walford returnee Ruby Allen (played by Louisa Lytton) is raped. What viewers will see is Ruby confide in best friend Stacey (Lacey Turner) about events that happened after a party the pair attended the night before. But as Stacey stands by Ruby, it soon becomes clear that the perpetrator is telling a very different version of events, all of which will raise a debate amongst the soap’s characters about consent.
Speaking tonight, Louisa Lytton said of the upcoming drama: “As someone that has been part of EastEnders before, and as a viewer of the show, I know the impact a storyline such as this can have and although it is a huge responsibility, I feel honoured to be part of something that, by working alongside Rape Crisis, we all hope can help end the many misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.”
Executive consultant John Yorke added: “From the original story of Kathy and Willmott-Brown, to the abuse of Little Mo by her husband Trevor, and Linda’s attack by Dean, EastEnders has always been at the forefront of dealing with these topical and sensitive issues.
“Whilst this story centres round an unseen rape, its real focus will challenge the stereotyping and myths that can surround sexual violence and consent. As a subject, it’s difficult and incredibly moving but we hope that by EastEnders tackling this issue we can raise awareness about an incredibly important issue.”
This isn’t the first time that soaps have tackled this emotive issue, Hollyoaks having earned critical and popular plaudits back in 2016 for a plotline that saw Nick Savage sexually abuse Ellie Nightingale by sleeping with her when she was too drunk to give consent.
On the topic of this latest storyline, Yvonne Traynor, CEO of Rape Crisis South London said: “It is so vital to the safety of men, women and children to understand sexual violence and not to make assumptions or believe the myths and stereotypes that are often portrayed. EastEnders have taken this responsibility very seriously and ensured that their portrayal of sexual violence has been thoroughly researched and is based on realism which is, sadly, so prevalent in our country today.”
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