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19 April 2024 | Sexual abuse podcasts | Podcasts | Article by Danielle Vincent

Breaking The Silence on Sexual Assault on Older Woman: An Eastenders Storyline

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Welcome to the latest episode of the HJ Talks Abuse podcast where we discuss sexual abuse cases to facilitate discussion on often neglected subjects. Brought to you by the legal experts at Hugh James, we aim to not just address these cases from a legal standpoint but also bring to light to broader issues suffered by survivors of sexual abuse.

In this week’s episode, we discuss mainstream soap EastEnders storyline that follows the sexual assault of an older female character perpetrated by a trusted religious figure who is in a position of trust.

Our hosts for the day, Danielle Vincent, Kathleen Hallisey, and Hannah Hodgson initiate the conversation with a trigger warning, as the episode touches upon sensitive themes like sexual assault, abuse, and religion. Hannah takes the lead in examining the upcoming narrative which features the sexual abuse of an older female character named Yolanda by a pastor, Clayton. The motives behind choosing such a storyline were to shatter the stereotypical image that only younger women are subject to rape and sexual assault. A spin-off of this storyline also indicates an overlooked aspect of positional abuse.

We also discuss the ‘Chilling Silence Report’ by SARSAS, which delves into the unexplored area of sexual violence against older women. We discuss how this report untangles the societal and cultural factors preventing older women from reporting sexual abuse cases, which is often downplayed or normalised due to ageism or existing stereotypes. The hosts opine that these challenging storylines could spark conversations within families, causing a ripple effect of awareness throughout society.

A crucial outcome of this discussion is the encouragement of victims to seek support, as well as to get in touch with Rape Crisis England and Wales – the organisation that specialises in this regard.

If you have any suggestions or inquiries related to this issue or future podcasts, feel free to get in touch. For more on this topic, you can find referral links in the blog.

Author bio

Danielle Vincent

Senior Associate

Danielle is a Senior Associate in the Abuse Specialist Personal Injury Department. She specialises in representing survivors of abuse and has experience in bringing claims against a number of institutions as well as individual abusers.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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