20/03/2017 13:31 GMT

‘Coronation Street’: Ofcom Rules On ‘Not Graphic Or Violent’ February Child Grooming Episode

The soap could still be in hot water over the storyline though.

After assessing viewer complaints, Ofcom has decided not to investigate a February episode of ‘Coronation Street’, which saw a development in the ongoing child grooming storyline.

The show in question was aired on Friday 17 February and saw Nathan Curtis get 16-year-old Bethany Platt drunk, before taking her back to his house.  

The storyline has developed significantly in the last three months

Explaining their decision, Ofcom have now said: “We assessed complaints about this storyline.

“We concluded the content was neither graphic nor violent, and took into account Coronation Street’s established role in covering challenging or distressing social issues.”

The NSPCC, who has worked with the soap’s writers on the episode, has also released a statement, which reads: “Soaps play an important part in highlighting abuse, and in giving victims the courage to speak out and in signposting them to help and support.

“It can make for difficult viewing, but it’s vital this type of abuse is portrayed as realistically as possible. We hope it will raise awareness of the signs of grooming and encourage more victims to come forward and seek help.

“The NSPCC has been working with ‘Coronation Street’ writers to ensure their current grooming storyline gives an accurate reflection of how abusers exploit and manipulate their victims.

ITV Pictures
Bethany is completely that her relationship is a sham

“Practitioners from our Protect and Respect service which supports children and young people who have been, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited, provided advice on the language and scenarios and continue to consult on the storyline.”

The charity has also praised a young woman who shared her story with the soap’s team. 

They add: “We are also very grateful to the bravery of Lucie, a victim of child sexual exploitation, who shared her experiences with the writers and actors involved as part of their research for this sensitive storyline.”

The storyline took a step up last week, when Bethany Platt attended a party that was actually a sex ring, and while the majority viewers praised the admittedly uncomfortable scenes on social media, two complaints - which are still being assessed - were made to the broadcasting watchdog.

The NSPCC’s helpline is available 24 hours a day for adults with concerns about a child or wishing to report non-recent abuse. It can be reached on 0808 800 5000. Young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111.

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