Rape Crisis has received a record number of calls this week, in direct response to a Coronation Street storyline depicting the rape of character Carla Connor.
The flagship center in South London, which runs the national helpline for survivors, experienced an 800% rise in calls after the story aired last week. Extra volunteers have been taken on to deal with the volume of calls. 10 millions viewers tuned in to the program, which showed Frank Foster rape wife-to-be Connor after she called off their wedding a day before the ceremony.
Rosa Knight, Helpline Coordinator at Rape Crisis South London, praised the program makers for their accuracy.
“Though other programs have run similar storylines, the response for the Coronation Street storyline has been like nothing we’ve experienced before. It is so important for mainstream shows to tackle these important issues in a well-researched way and it appears the program makers worked hard to do just that.”
She continues, “That we have had such a huge increase in calls demonstrates that woman who have survived rape do need care and support – but they are not always aware of how to get it. We urge women who cannot get through not to give up. We will work our hardest to ensure your call for support is answered.*
Statistics show that women are most likely to suffer rape at the hands of somebody they know. Earlier this week, actor Andrew Lancel, who plays rapist Frank, said the program makers “did their homework” to make sure Carla’s storyline was as realistic as possible.
Survivors can also go online to www.rapecrisis.org.uk for counselling and support. The national Rape Crisis helpline is 0808 802 9999, open 12 – 2.30 and 7 – 9.30pm every day of the year.