‘Broadchurch’ is officially back on our screens and Monday (27 February) night’s series opener saw the sexual assault case that will be at the centre of the new episodes introduced, and the move has now been praised by Rape Crisis.
Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Trish in the series, has already shared her thoughts on the storyline, and a Rape Crisis spokesperson has now explained why it could be important, stating that the show has the potential to “help rape survivors find their voice”.
In a blog published on the Huffington Post UK, Rebecca Hitchen, the director of operations for the organisation’s South London branch, writes that “it is vital for television and film to therefore take some responsibility for education of our society.”
“For survivors to see their own experiences reflected back to them can be a powerful thing, it can help them recognise that they are not alone in what they have lived through and continue to cope with,” she explains. “These TV shows can help survivors to find ways to speak about their experiences and access support, and can help society realise just how important it is to believe survivors, and to support them and be alongside them.
“I also hope it will help foster a shift in attitudes where we place the blame and shame on perpetrators, where it belongs.”
Rebecca also praises the ‘EastEnders’ team for their careful crafting of Linda Carter’s sexual assault storyline, and Channel 4’s 2016 mini-series ‘The National Treasure’, promising that “‘Broadchurch’ is set to fall into this impressive category of responsible and realistic depictions of the aftermath of rape”.
Former ‘Coronation Street’ star Julie takes the lead in the new series, and she’s previously admitted that the storyline forced her to face her own “internalised misogyny”.
“I’m an ordinary-looking, middle-aged woman, rather than the classic ‘young girl being chased through the woods’ - I think that in itself is quite an interesting take on it,” she said at a press event earlier this month. “I had to look at some of my own internalised misogyny really, because I had fears that the audience wouldn’t buy that this could happen to someone like me.
“But obviously this isn’t an act of sex and desire, it’s an act of violence and it happens to all people - men, women and children.”