Viewers on social media have expressed their shock after watching the first episode of BBC drama Three Girls.
The “heartbreaking” and “disturbing” three-parter explores the real events surround the grooming of teenage girls at the mercy of a gang in Rochdale in 2012.
The series focuses on three teenage girls – renamed Holly, Amber and Ruby for the drama – who became victims after being lured into a trap.
They were lured in by the owner of a local takeaway, who came them free food and alcohol before beginning the abuse and sharing them among his group of friends.
Knowing the drama was based on real-life events made it so much harder for viewers.
They were also angered that Holly and her family were left powerless against the attackers.
One started off the conversation on Twitter by posting: “#Three Girls I don’t think I’ve ever watched a programme in such silence. It was difficult to watch.”
It made one feel physically sick.
Another added: “Powerful and incredibly shocking TV #threegirls a lot of people need to be deeply ashamed!”.
Many also posted messages on Wednesday morning after struggling to sleep.
The programme also sheds light on how little the authorities did during that time. Many turned a blind eye to the abuse, mainly out of fear of being branded racist.
Episode two airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.