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Saturday 17th August 2019

Hollyoaks' Stephanie Davis reveals she's helped rape victims

Her character Sinead Shelby was raped by her husband Laurie

Hollyoaks viewers were left devastated earlier this month, when popular character Sinead Shelby was raped by her own husband.

In harrowing scenes, Laurie forced himself upon Sinead - and later blamed HER for the attack in a disgusting example of gaslighting.

Sinead was left shaken after the despicable crime (Credit: Lime Pictures / E4)

Read more: Hollyoaks star Chris Simmons on The Bill return

Viewers have watched in horror as Laurie has manipulated his way back into Sinead's life, and even persuaded her to forgive him - and, more worryingly, deny the rape.

Actress Stephanie Davis has now revealed that the storyline has touched those viewers who have been raped themselves.

The soap star, 26, admitted it had been super hard to film the rape scenes and subsequent aftermath, but told her 452,000 Twitter followers it had been worth it because it's helped victims.

Sinead is a victim of gaslighting (Credit: Lime Pictures / E4)

Read more: Hollyoaks stars pay tribute to co-star as Lily McQueen is killed off

Thanking fans for voting for her in the upcoming British Soap Awards, she admitted that the storyline had been "close to home" having suffered a similar experience herself and revealed that other rape survivors have reached out to her.

I'm so grateful for all your messages and to those I have helped.

She wrote: "So today the voting closes for @SoapAwards. Thank you so much to everyone who has voted for me; it means so much!!

"I felt privileged to have this storyline, especially as it's so close to a part of my own life. I'm so grateful for all your messages and to those I have helped."

She continued: "I cannot believe the amount of people who have spoken out and reached out. The fact I've got to help people, just means everything!

"Filming this storyline was very hard for me as you could imagine. At the beginning, I didn't quite know how I was going to do it and film it, but I did."

In a series of heartfelt tweets, she added: "I gave it my everything and, with the freedom and trust of my amazing directors, they let me do what I had to do with each scene to make it believable and as real as possible as I had had that experience to know how to get this storyline across as powerful and as real as possible."

The mum-of-one went on to tell fans that Sinead's story is only just beginning and revealed she believes she was given the storyline "for a reason to help".

Stephanie also said it was "unbelievable" she has got this far in her life, and admitted she was proud of herself for turning her life around after being sacked from the soap.

In 2015, Stephanie was reportedly fired on the spot for turning up to work drunk.

She went on to take part in Celebrity Big Brother, where she fell in love with fellow housemate Jeremy McConnell - despite having boyfriend Sam Reece waiting for her on the outside.

Stephanie took part in Celebrity Big Brother 2016 (Credit: C5)

The relationship was short-lived and abusive, but resulted in one happy ending - their son Caben-Albi.

After Jeremy was convicted of violently assaulting her, Stephanie booked herself into rehab to battle her addictions and is currently clean and back on track.

She's now involved in one of the E4 soap's biggest storylines and is dating co-star Owen Warner.

In upcoming episodes, viewers will see Sinead find comfort in her enemy Sienna Blake, who has also been the victim of sexual harassment from Laurie.

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