Rape Crisis praises EastEnders storyline

Rape Crisis has delved into the frustrating outcome of Dean Wicks’ trial, aired tonight (19 August) on BBC One, in a blog on the official EastEnders website.

EastEnders Dean

Dean (Matt Di Angelo) stood accused of the attempted rape of Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) and was acquitted – evading justice once more after no charges were brought against him for the rape of Linda Carter (Kellie Bright).

With the trial taking place off-screen, the episode focused on those affected by Dean’s actions awaiting the verdict in Albert Square, with events in the courtroom represented only by a voiceover of the presiding judge.

After scenes of Shirley (Linda Henry) drinking vodka by The Albert, Roxy having an adverse reaction to rubberneckers in the market and Linda occupying herself with household chores, the three women and Ronnie (Samantha Womack) came together at the Queen Vic where they opened up to each other. Roxy, Ronnie and Linda shared their experiences of being sexually assaulted while Shirley explained she feels her inadequacies as a parent account for Dean’s behaviour.

As Roxy’s phone buzzed with the verdict, Linda explained that the verdict wouldn’t make any difference and that they have done all they can by speaking out, prompting an anxious Roxy to reject the call. However, they were soon apprised of Dean’s acquittal by Buster Briggs (Karl Howman) who had attended court and paid Dean not to return to the Square after the verdict.
EastEnders - Dean trial
Written by Rebecca Hitchen, Operations Coordinator at Rape Crisis the blog notes the outcome is sadly reflective of real life statistics and praises the soap for choosing to focus on Roxy and Linda over a courtroom drama.

“We may be angry and frustrated by the fact that Dean does not get the comeuppance he deserves and be shocked that he has got away with his crimes again. We know that he is a rapist and that he is a serial offender, and we can predict that he will continue to perpetrate his crimes against women, wherever he ends up. But it is an important reality to face, that far too often rapists are not convicted; and justice is not realised. This is why additional support, and other ways to have their voices heard, are so crucial for survivors.


“We know that just one in 15 women who are raped make the decision to report to the police. Of those who choose to report, many cases are closed by police and Crown Prosecution Service because of insufficient evidence – a trial in a rape case is not the norm. When there is a trial we know that convictions for rape are among the lowest of any offence.


“EastEnders has now made another bold decision; rather than airing the usual version of a courtroom drama, they instead show the stress and the anxiety survivors and their loved ones experience in the criminal justice system waiting for the outcome, and learning the verdict.” – Rebecca Hitchen, Rape Crisis

The episode ended with Linda noting to Shirley of Dean, “A few years inside… It wouldn’t have made up for what he did but it would have been something. I don’t care where he is. He’s got nothing. What’s more important than love, family? He’s lost any chance of that.” She added to her husband “I’m a survivor, Mick”. 

EastEnders - Dean trial 2

EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8.00pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One
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