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EastEnders to air sexual assault storyline involving Yolande Trueman

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EastEnders to air sexual assault storyline involving Yolande Trueman

EastEnders is working with charities End Violence Against Women Coalition and Hourglass on a new storyline in which Yolande Trueman (Angela Wynter) is sexually assaulted by Pastor Clayton (Howard Saddler), someone she considered a close friend and confidante.

As the storyline progresses, Yolande will struggle to come to terms with the assault from a man who she believed she could trust as it impacts all aspects of her life, including her relationship with Patrick (Rudolph Walker).

The hour-long episode, scheduled to air on Wednesday 17th April, will not only depict Yolande’s ordeal but will also feature flashbacks of other women who have previously been sexually assaulted by Pastor Clayton.

The BBC soap has worked closely with experts in the field to ensure this story is portrayed as accurately and sensitively as possible.

Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer of EastEnders, said of the storyline:

“This is an important story that we hope will raise awareness of how women at any age can been groomed by someone in a position of power. It was vital for us to work alongside End Violence Against Women Coalition and Hourglass to truthfully present and sensitively portray Yolande’s sexual assault storyline.”

In a recent episode Yolande was uncomfortable when embraced by the pastor

Andrea Simon, Director of End Violence Against Women Coalition, said of Yolande’s story:

“We’re proud to work with EastEnders on this important storyline. Sexual assault happens to women of all ages and backgrounds, but many find they aren’t believed or taken seriously. Older women, black women and others who are marginalised are at the sharp end of this, with huge consequences for their access to justice and support.

“Television shows can play a huge role in shifting attitudes across society. We hope this storyline helps dispel myths and stereotypes about what victims and survivors look like and how perpetrators behave, and ultimately increases understanding of sexual assault.”

Veronica Gray, Deputy CEO and Director of Policy at Hourglass, said of the storyline:

“This is a landmark moment for all older victims of abuse in the UK and beyond. EastEnders, shaping a storyline around the too-often hidden nightmare of sexual abuse of older people, finally brings this issue out of the shadows and into public consciousness. We hope this will start an important conversation in many households across the UK.

“Hourglass is delighted to work with EastEnders on this storyline to provide advice, and we were impressed by how engaged the scriptwriting team were and how keen they were to be authentic and respectful. Abuse of older people comes in many forms, and Hourglass urges anyone affected to make contact with us.” 

EastEnders Monday-Thursday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

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