ITV Granada has revealed more details on their forthcoming male rape storyline.

 Josh, actor Ryan Clayton, and David, played by Jack P. Shepherd, in a scene from Corrie last month.

“We decided to cover the topic of male rape to help try and highlight the culture of silence that surrounds male sexual assault, and issues surrounding male mental health in general. Survivors Manchester have been so generous with their time and knowledge, working with Jack, Ryan and the team, and I’m in awe of the work they do. Over the next few weeks of Corrie, our message is to talk: it’s hard to speak out, but if you’re suffering in silence, there are people out there willing to listen and support you.” – Kate Oates, Producer

The coming week sees ITV’s flagship serial, Coronation Street, tackle the difficult subject of male rape when David Platt is drugged and sexually assaulted by his new friend mechanic Josh Tucker. In the scenes to be aired on Friday, March 16th the pair enjoy a night out drinking after becoming mates in recent weeks as David trained for the charity boxing match organised by Josh.

David wakes up the next morning – in scenes which will air on March 19th – in Josh’s bed and although Josh is not around David realises that he had been drugged and starts to remember what has happened to him. Ashamed and disgusted he makes his way home but then has to make the decision whether or not he can face reporting the crime.

In the coming weeks, David will struggle with what has happened and internalise the attack, keeping it a secret from his friends and family who grow increasingly worried about his behaviour.

“David thinks he has made a new friend in Josh. He hasn’t really ever had a male friend and no male role models, because his dad is not around and Nick has moved away. He’s been trying to impress Josh with his training for the fight and he is enjoying his company. He has no reason to think Josh is anything other than a mate.” – Jack P Shepherd

Josh and David have recently forged a friendship.

“When I was told about the storyline Kate Oates and I met with Duncan from Survivors Manchester and that was when I realised the gravity and significance of the storyline. David’s reaction and decision to remain quiet because he feels ashamed about what has happened is not uncommon. Hopefully people will start talking about the storyline and it could help someone who has gone through something similar to realise the need to open up and speak to somebody.” – Jack P Shepherd

Coronation Street is working closely with local charity Survivors Manchester to ensure the storyline is portrayed accurately and handled sensitively. In the financial year 2016-17, Survivors Manchester received a new request for support every single day of the year. In the current year, they have already received the same amount of referrals by December 2017 as the organisation had in the whole of 2016/17. They are expecting approx 25% increase this year.

The ITV Granada storyline airs at a time when Crime Survey England and Wales states 631,000 male victims experienced sexual violence since being aged 16 while the same survey showed 5 in 6 people did not report to the Police what happened to them.

Survivors Manchester, Safeline and Mankind are developing the Male Survivors Partnership to ensure that more men across the UK can access quality-assured support while The Male Survivors Partnership recently launched the male service standards in the House of Lords, which will begin the start of UK kitemark for quality support for males.

“From the first meeting, Kate Oates and the team at Coronation Street have been 100% committed to not only ensuring the story is told sensitively and authentically, but that it does something to help male survivors at home. From the many discussions with the script writers, editors, publicity, legal, Director and both Jack and Ryan, it’s felt such an incredibly positive team effort. As a service provider, I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to support Coronation Street to tell this story in an authentic way to the man watching at home. As a survivor, I have felt the Coronation Street team have done everything they can to really listen to me and to our Ambassador Sam Thompson, who’s own story of being raped has been drawn from for this story.” – Duncan Craig, Founder and Chief Executive of Survivors Manchester, and a survivor of sexual abuse himself

Episode 9406 of Coronation Street, which airs on Friday, March 16th, will see Josh Tucker get David Platt drunk as the storyline begins.
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