EastEnders kicks off its controversial rape storyline involving Ruby Allen next week when she joins her friend Stacey and her husband Martin Fowler on a night out.
It’s actually Martin’s school reunion and he’s is reluctant to go and pleads with Stacey to join him.
She agrees and asks Ruby to tag along too, to keep her company.
The three of them meet up with some of Martin’s old friends in the E20 – Ross, Matt and Glenn – and as the drinks start flowing, a great time is had by all.
Stacey and Martin decide to call it a night pretty early – that’s what having three young kids does to you – and they leave Ruby parting with the boys.
The next morning, Martin heads off to meet the lads for the breakfast they arranged the night before and Ruby heads over to Stacey’s.
As the girls head out, Ruby asks if they can stop off at the chemist where Stacey hears her ask for the morning after pill.
Stacey senses something is wrong and takes Ruby back to hers and asks if everything is ok.
Ruby confesses that she slept with Ross before passing out, but when she came round Matt was on top of her.
While Ruby blames herself for drinking too much, Stacey is horrified and tells Ruby that it’s not her fault at all – she was raped.
Meanwhile Martin’s friends are telling Ross about their night and their version of events is very different.
They tell Martin that Ruby slept with Ross and Matt and when Martin questions their actions, they insist it was consensual.
It was announced last month that EastEnders would be tackling a rape storyline that centred around the often confusing issue of consent.
An EastEnders spokesperson told ED!: “Although viewers will not see the attack, the storyline is set to highlight the complex issues that surround sexual violence which is something Rape Crisis are keen to raise awareness of.”
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.”
Meanwhile, EastEnders’ Executive Consultant John Yorke said: “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.”
Louisa Lytton, 29, said: “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.”
The issue of consent was recently explored in Casualty, when favourite Alicia Munroe was raped by colleague Eddie McAllister.
When Ruby’s return was first announced in July, John Yorke promised that she’d be involved in one of the show’s biggest storylines later this year.
If you or someone you know needs confidential advice and support for similar issues, contact Rape Crisis in England or Wales, Rape Crisis Scotland if you are north of the border, or Nexus NI if you are in Northern Ireland.
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EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One