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EastEnders to air male rape storyline

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EastEnders to air male rape storyline

EastEnders is to cover the subject of male rape with the character of Ben Mitchell.

The storyline will see Ben, played by Max Bowden, subjected to a devastating sexual assault by new barman Lewis, played by Aidan O’Callaghan.

Around 12,000 men are raped in the UK every year, and more than 70,000 are sexually abused or assaulted.

EastEnders bosses have been working with SurvivorsUK, Survivors Manchester and the Male Survivors Partnership on the sensitive storyline.

“Alongside some wonderful charities, and some very inspirational survivors of male sexual assault in the UK, I think we’ve been able to really strive to tell the most truthful account we can, and I hope we can raise awareness and understanding on a topic that is rarely covered. “I’m honoured to be given this opportunity to tell such an important story.” – Max Bowden

Rape charity SurvivorsUK spokeswoman Marta Almeida, Services Manager noted that there a “huge number of male survivors who still don’t feel there’s a space for them to come forward,” and described the storyline as “an amazing opportunity to explore the reality for so many men, families and communities up and down the UK.”

“Ben has endured a traumatic time after witnessing a homophobic attack on Callum that brought back painful memories of losing Paul.

“As a result, Ben lost his way in life…which is when he found Lewis. Ben finds Lewis attractive, and thinks of him as a someone who can understand him in a way Callum does not; but that trust is abused when Lewis crosses a line and rapes Ben.

“Through this story, we hope to explore issues of consent, sexual identity, masculinity, and sexual assault, focusing on how this fateful night impacts Ben and those who love him over the coming months.” – BBC head of continuing drama Kate Oates

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