ENTERTAINMENT
21/03/2018 10:35 GMT | Updated 21/03/2018 10:46 GMT

Coronation Street's Male Rape Story Boosts Helpline Calls By 1700%

The controversial plot has proved it is already helping people.

Coronation Street’s male rape storyline has been divisive among viewers, but it is already having a positive impact on men who have survived real-life attacks.

Survivors Manchester, an organisation which helps boys and men affected by sexual assault, has reported they have received a 1700% increase in calls from people asking for help and support since the plot began last week.

ITV Pictures
David Platt was raped on 'Coronation Street'

During last Friday’s (16 March) episode, viewers of the ITV soap saw Josh Tucker drugging David Platt and preparing to sexually assault him. 

Since then, fans have seen David struggle to come to terms with what’s happened to him.

The scenes have encouraged those who have experienced something similar to contact the charity, who also helped ‘Coronation Street’ bosses devise the plot. 

Speaking about the rise in calls they have seen, founder and chief executive Duncan Craig told ITV News: “I found out the actual statistic and how many more men – in response to what happened on ‘Coronation Street’ – had picked up the phone and asked for help.

“I just think it’s mind-blowing and I’m so proud of Kay, of Ryan, of Jack, the writers and the ‘Coronation Street’ team for presenting what is a really difficult story but an incredibly important story.”

ITV
Viewers saw Josh Tucker drug David and prepare to sexually assault him

In an interview with HuffPost UK prior to the storyline airing, Duncan detailed his hopes for the storyline’s impact. 

“What we’re really hoping for is more of an understanding, first of all, sexual violence happens to men. Not, sexual violence happens to gay men,” he said. “It happens to boys and men, and can happen to anybody. I want to see much more conversation and debate.

“My priority is the man that’s sat at home watching this on the television, or listening to the radio, who is a silent survivor. I need to make sure he understands that there is help and support out there.”

The plot hasn’t been without its criticism though, with TV watchdog Ofcom reporting they had received 122 complaints about it.

They will now have to assess the complaints before deciding whether to investigate.

‘Corrie’ boss Kate Oates previously insisted she would not let any negative reactions change any plans to the storyline. 

Speaking to the Daily Star, she said: “I do take things on board, but I don’t think it changes the narrative because I know what storylines I want to tell.

“When I’m reading storylines I will sometimes say to the team ‘this is a really dark episode…we need a lighter story and maybe some humour’.

“I like the viewers to stay in touch. But it doesn’t change the narrative drive because I believe in that.

“I’ve made decisions with my team and we’re on board with that. We hope we’re doing storylines that will serve the show well long-term.”

  • Rape Crisis services for women and girls who have been raped or have experienced sexual violence - 0808 802 9999
  • Survivors UK offers support for men and boys - 0203 598 3898
Photo gallery Coronation Street - Where Are They Now? See Gallery