20th May, 2019

Broadchurch and Safeline working to break stigma of sexual assault

HARD-HITTING TV drama Broadchurch is helping to break the stigma of sexual assault with the support of a Warwick charity.

Viewers of the hit ITV show, which stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman, were left shocked as the show battled issues of rape and grooming for sexual assault.

But charity Safeline has applauded the show for taking on the storyline and encouraging even more people to report the crimes.

Creator of Broadchurch Chris Chibnall said: “‘When I thought about telling this story the first thing I and the team of people I work with did is talk to various people and charities who work with supporting survivors of sexual assault.

“The first question we asked them is ‘Should we telling this story within Broadchurch? Is it an appropriate thing to do?

“They were all unanimous in their reply and said ‘Yes, you should and you must because there is an incredible amount of support out there for people who have survived these crimes’ but many don’t know where to find it and this will help.”

Safeline is one of the charities which works with survivors.

They have seen a surge of calls in recent months after the story of sexual abuse in football broke.

And now charity chief executive Neil Henderson is hopeful even more will come forward after watching Broadchurch.

Neil told the Observer: “Calls to our helpline services have more than doubled following the disclosures of sexual abuse in football last November.

“The footballers having the courage to disclose their abuse has helped thousands of other survivors to come forward and seek support for their abuse.

“If footballers can be believed, so can we.”

Visit www.safeline.org.uk or call 01926 402498 to talk to an advisor at the charity.

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