The repercussions of Emmerdale’s big night out continue to be felt for Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) who is pregnant after being raped by Lee, a fellow clubber she met on that ill-fated evening. On Tuesday 4th June, Vic stuns her family when she tells them she does not want a termination and plans to keep her baby, as news of the brave villager’s ordeal becomes common knowledge.
Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) is shaken by his little sister’s decision and is not sure he can stand by her, while the siblings’ stepmum Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen) reels from the announcement. Having hidden away from her friends since the attack, Victoria finally opens up about her sexual assault and baby bombshell to pals including Marlon Dingle, Matty Barton and Ellis Chapman.
RadioTimes.com spoke to Hodgins about the hard-hitting storyline, which is a genuine game-changer not only for her character but for the entire Sugden clan…
How did you feel when you were told Victoria was going to get such a traumatic storyline?
I was excited and nervous. It’s a big story and I wanted to do it justice for people in real life that have been raped, but also I was thankful for being given a very big story.
Victoria wanted a baby for a long time, is there a cruel irony it’s happened in this way?
It comes in the worst kind of way. In her ideal world it would’ve been with Adam, they would’ve had the perfect little family unit, so it’s bittersweet. Not long ago she thought she was pregnant with Ellis, which wasn’t that bad an idea. Then it comes about because of the rape but she thinks she might not get another chance at being a mum. When you want it so much, as soon as that test is positive something kicks in – Robert sees it as ‘his’ baby, but to Vic it’s very much ‘her’ baby, she gets protective as it’s what she has wanted for so long.
So Robert and Diane are not totally comfortable with the pregnancy?
Robert is not happy. Because of the circumstances he is inclined to think she shouldn’t be having this baby and is putting pressure on her to visit the doctor, but Vic shuts it down. Robert makes comments she doesn’t like and she bites back. Robert and Diane want to be supportive but are also thinking that time is of the essence, if she does decide not to keep it.
Does Victoria ever have a moment where she thinks about having an abortion?
She does for a long time. She is very conflicted actually and even when she commits to having it I think she’ll still have those times of ‘Am I really doing this? What if Lee finds out?’, she doesn’t want Lee involved or have any claim on the baby as she hopes he’ll be in prison – she’ll be doing it on her own but she has her family.
Who will be her biggest support throughout this?
I want to say Robert, he is trying his best but making mistakes – he wants to look after her but she feels he’s putting pressure on her she doesn’t need. Robert struggles to get his head around how to deal with this, it puts some distance between them but he doesn’t mean to upset her. It’s difficult, it’s happened to his little sister so it’s almost too close for him.
Will Robert try and get revenge on Lee?
I wouldn’t be surprised. Robert doesn’t like not getting his own way, does he?
How will this experience change Victoria?
She’s going to be living in fear of Lee finding out, and he knows where she lives. I think it would mostly change the way she is with men, her trust is scuppered and she is on edge. I’d be interested to see what kind of mother she becomes after going through something like this. If Adam came back to save the day that would be cracking!
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