EastEnders viewers have reacted to the death of Chantelle, which happened during an episode that aired on the BBC last night (September 18).
Although many were full of praise for the actors involved, others expressed concerns.
Some were worried that the depiction of the murder could stop real-life victims from leaving their abusive partners for fear it could happen to them.
What happened to Chantelle in EastEnders?
During a heated argument in the kitchen, Chantelle told Gray she was leaving and taking the kids with her.
In response, he pushed her onto a knife in an open dishwasher.
She was left paralysed and bleeding out while Gray made it look like a tragic accident
However, while some were full of praise for how EastEnders has raised awareness, some were still concerned.
One said: “Very hopeless ending especially for real-life victims!
“This ending gives no hope to victims and more armour to culprits! Didn’t like this one little bit. Sack the writer of this storyline!”
A second said: “Wow what an episode… curious to know how you’re going show real-life victims how to get help though… killing her off seems so final and kind of hopeless for people.”
This ending gives no hope to victims and more armour to culprits! Didn’t like this one little bit. Sack the writer of this storyline!
A third said: “Feel like Chantelle gaining the courage to speak out, leave, ending up with someone caring and showing real victims that it doesn’t have to stay this way would have been a better message #Eastenders.
“Is showing her die when she tries to leave going to encourage them to speak out?”
Another said: “You can look at Chantelle’s death in two ways, but I wonder what real victims will take from it? That when you get the courage to leave, you die? Exactly an outcome they’re frightened of? I know it’s not that simple but…”
EastEnders fans praise soap for showing reality of Chantelle’s situation
Others praised the bravery of the soap for showing the reality of what happens to victims.
“Heartbreaking scenes in #Eastenders but unfortunately a reality that many victims of domestic violence face,” said one.
“I know viewers would rather her get free, but that’s an ending other characters have had, and it’s vital people see other, more devastating, outcomes.”
Another added: “The sad reality is that people don’t always escape or find the help they need. But even if one person who is in a similar situation to Chantelle seeks help after watching these last few episodes then EastEnders has done the storyline justice.”
EastEnders boss defends Chantelle’s death
EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen defended the decision to show Chantelle’s death as her ending.
He told the Radio Times: “A criticism is often a worry that we are showing a victim that tries to leave and that backfires on her tremendously. I’d like people to realise that for people in Chantelle’s situation, telling someone what you’re going through is so important.”
Jon added: “Through Chantelle’s story, we hope to encourage survivors to understand they are absolutely worth the support and to speak out.
“It’s through a culture of silence that the atrocities of domestic abuse are able to thrive.”
Help for domestic abuse
If you, or someone you care about, is experiencing domestic abuse, you can phone The National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 to discuss your options.
A range of digital resources are available at refuge.org.uk and nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
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