The soap will air a flashback episode on May 29th.

“It’s such a brilliant opportunity for me to explore Charity’s past and a chance to discover why Charity behaves the way she does a lot of the time. It’s stuff that’s been locked away for years, very painful stuff, and she finally feels able to talk about it. The storyline is very serious in nature compared to the comedy I’ve done more recently so it is a wonderful challenge.” – Emma Atkins

Emmerdale is to confront the painful and difficult subject of child abuse when a much loved character begins to open up about her troubled past.

A tough, no-nonsense character used to shrugging off life’s disasters and moving on to the next scam or scrape with the law, Charity Dingle – played by Emma Atkins – rarely wears her heart on her sleeve. However, she recently confided in girlfriend Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick) about the abuse she had suffered as a child.

The rural saga is now delving further into the matter – a landmark episode will see a young Charity, played by Mica Proctor, depicted in flashback scenes as we witness the pain, heartbreak and confusion she felt as a girl.

“The relationship between Charity and Vanessa is showing a different dimension to the usual gold digging Charity. It’s a love story and it’s breathing new life into my character, especially seeing her finally face up to her secret, dark past. It’s obviously the hardest storyline I’ve had due to the subject matter and I am duty bound to play it as truthfully as I can. If it in any way helps give anyone out there who’s suffered any kind of abuse the strength to open up, even just to talk about it, then that can only be the start of a good thing.” – Emma Atkins

Emmerdale has been supported throughout the research and preparation of Charity’s storyline by North Yorkshire’s Rape Unit. Atkins made her first appearance as Charity in 2000, remaining in the role until 2005. She returned to the show in 2009.

Emmerdale has ventured into flashback territory before notably for the reveals of who killed Emma Barton and who shot Robert Sugden. The latest rewind instalment will air on Tuesday 29 May.

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