Coronation Street features male rape storyline
Coronation Street is to air a same-sex male rape storyline.
The ITV soap is set to tackle the difficult subject in a storyline that kicks off this month
The storyline will see long-running character David Platt (played by Jack P Shepherd) drugged and sexually assaulted by his new friend mechanic Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton).
In the scenes to be aired next Friday, March 16,the pair enjoy a night out drinking after becoming mates in recent weeks as David trained for the charity boxing match organised by Josh.
In the episode to air on March 19, David wakes up the next morning 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.
Disgusted, he makes his way home and then has to make a decision about whether to 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.
Actor Jack P Shepherd said: “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.
“When I was told about the storyline, [Corrie boss] 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.”
Coronation Street producer Kate Oates said: “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.
“Coronation Street are working closely with local charity Survivors Manchester to ensure the storyline is portrayed accurately and handled sensitively.”
Duncan Craig of Survivors Manchester, who is himself a survivor of sexual abuse, said: “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.
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“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.
“Sitting down with Jack and talking through some of my own experiences as a survivor was a brilliant experience. Jack asked me so many questions and we talked about the idea of what it is to be male, why so many men stay silent after being sexually assaulted, and what its like living in silence.
“He was incredibly respectful and his hunger to understand will ensure that the man sat at home watching David will feel less isolated and that’s the start of breaking the silence.
“When Sam and I met with Ryan, he was 100% committed to telling the most authentic story he could. Taking on a character who will commit one of the most abhorrent crimes within society is a challenge and I have so much respect for what Ryan is doing and wanting to roll his sleeves up and get involved in supporting us to break the silence on male sexual violence.
“Coronation Street’s commitment to making sure every script and idea is discussed with us shows just how important this story is to Coronation Street and shows how much they are listening to survivors, like Sam and I. I cannot thank them enough.
“The day the story broke that Coronation Street were tackling male rape as a subject, there was a flurry of activity on social media and Survivors Manchester was being talked about. Within 24 hours, we’d had a number of enquiries directly linked to the story. A number of men, and a few girlfriends of men, were contacting us asking about how they access our service, that just fills me with so much hope for this whole story.”