26 May 2017
We recently looked at how British soaps have been raising awareness of CSE and helping the public to better understand the issue. A number of the soaps have recently run storylines focusing on CSE, consent and other topics that are relevant to young people and exploitation and it’s already got viewers around the country talking about the issues involved.
However few soaps have gone as far as Coronation Street. Their current CSE storyline is one of the most groundbreaking ever run by a British TV series and, though often hard to watch, is doing a lot to raise awareness of the issue. Whether you’re a Coronation Street fan or not, this brave and difficult story is well worth a watch. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened so far.
The character at the centre of the plot is Bethany Platt. Aged just 16, Bethany is groomed after falling in love with newly arrived character Nathan Curtis. Nathan slowly gains Bethany’s trust and convinces her they’re in love before taking her to a party where he encourages her to have sex with another man named Neil. He then introduces her to a third man called Ian who is also promised sex with the teenager.
One of the most important elements of the Coronation Street storyline is that it shows how men groom the young people they target. By building up trust over a period of time, they’re able to assert control and force the young people they’ve groomed to do things they don’t want to. It also shows how these people often isolate the teenagers they target and prevent them from having contact with their families. This allows them to use even more control and help to prevent young people from getting the help they need.
When Bethany does pluck up the courage to go to the police to report her abuse, she is stunned to find out that one of the men who has been grooming her is a police officer. This makes the teenager feel like she has nowhere to turn and forces her back under the control of the evil Nathan.
On the whole, the public reaction to the storyline has been positive. Viewers have been shocked by the way Bethany has been manipulated and it’s shown just how easily young people can be groomed by older people and those in positions of power. It will hopefully also help to make young people, parents and teachers more aware of the warning signs of CSE and will help to drive discussion on the topic, making it easier for people to talk about the issue.
If you’ve been affected by CSE, or want to learn more about the issue and the help and support that’s available, give us a call on 0808 800 1037.