This week the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders will tackle male sexual abuse, a storyline expected to play out over the coming weeks.
Actor Danny Dyer's character Mick discovers a new character is his biological daughter, Frankie Lewis. Viewers of the soap will establish the girl's mother was once Mick’s care worker during his time in social care and secondly, Mick would have only been 12 years old at the time of sexual intercourse with his carer.
The storyline will focus on Mick’s realisation he was abused as a child despite having tried to avoid these emotions for many years. The storyline is set to explore Mick’s ongoing struggles with disclosure and feelings of abandonment. The long-term effects that will play out on screen for the character will be panic attacks, emotional difficulties, and mental health decline.
EastEnders have worked very closely with Survivors UK and NSPCC in the hope that the storyline will challenge the perceptions and stigma experienced by male survivors of sexual abuse. It is hoped the storyline will encourage people to come forward in similar positions to seek the help they may require.
Alex Feis-Bryce, CEO of Survivors UK, commented: “Research suggests that it takes male survivors an average of 26 years to speak out and seek support and the impact of sexual violence can be devastating.
The following organisations are available to contact for support:
Rape Crisis: services for women and girls who have been raped or have experienced sexual violence - 0808 802 9999
Survivors UK: offers support for men and boys - 0203 598 3898
Childline: 0800 1111
We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at Alan.firstname.lastname@example.org or Danielle Vincent at Danielle.email@example.com