Ofcom has said it is looking into more than 60 complaints about rape scenes shown in ITV soap Emmerdale this week.
Monday night’s episode showed Pierce Harris, played by Jonathan Wrather, brutally assault Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) after spiralling into a jealous rage just hours after their wedding.
Viewers saw Pierce grab Rhona by the arms as she tried to run away and force her to the floor.
The rape was not shown but Jonathan said earlier this week that it was “implied”.
The media watchdog said it received 62 audience complaints after the scenes were aired pre-watershed.
It will assess the claims before deciding whether to launch a full investigation.
A spokesman said: “We assess all complaints received against the Broadcasting Code, which sets standards for the content of TV and radio programmes, before deciding whether or not to investigate.”
ITV shared links to information and support services for viewers affected by the hard-hitting storyline.
The channel has been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile, as Rhona tries to come to terms with what’s happened, her fears have turned to son Leo.
Our heads were in our hands last night as the traumatised vet went round to collect her young lad from Marlon’s place and started to tell him about the rape, only for Marlon to cut her off, assuming she and Pierce had had a fight.
He told her it was totally normal to argue with the stress of the wedding, and Rhona clammed up, deciding against revealing any more. Oh Marlon.
Fans are wondering just what Rhona will do next, and actress Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona, has opened up to Inside Soap about what her character’s number one priority is now.
“She’s terrified because she doesn’t know what or who she’s going back to. But her main priority is her son Leo.
“Pierce has been so aggressive and awful that she’s now frightened for her little boy’s safety. Without question, I think if she’d ever thought there was a danger of this sort of thing happening, she would have got out a long time ago.
“But of course, she didn’t think it was possible. It’s gone beyond anything she could have imagined.”
With Pierce now seemingly completely out of control, will she let him back into her life?
Or will she return to the police station and see him arrested for what he’s done to her?
The only way to get him away from Leo and protect him from Pierce is to get him thrown behind bars. But can Rhona find the strength to do it?