EastEnders fans heaped praise on the BBC soap for tacking male sexual assault after Mick Carter’s (Danny Dyer) childhood abuse storyline was revealed.
Viewers have watched on as newcomer Frankie (Rose Ayling-Ellis) took an interest in the Carter family, taking pictures of Ollie and forging a friendship with Tina (Luisa Bradshaw-White).
Last week, she left the former Vic landlord reeling as she revealed her mum is Katy Lewis, and that she was his daughter – an admission that sparked his panic attacks.
She confessed that she was made to believe that Mick walked out on them before he embarked on a relationship with Linda (Kellie Bright) – but the harrowing truth came to light in tonight’s episode.
Tina inadvertently shared the truth about their history, explaining that Katy was their care worker when they were both placed in the system.
Frankie realised that Mick was just 12-years-old when she was conceived, leaving her appalled – but he privately insisted that it wasn’t what she thought.
Those watching on from home flocked to Twitter to discuss the scenes, with many thanking BBC bosses for taking the topic on.
‘Frankie’s mum sexually abused Mick! About time female on male sexual abuse was covered in soaps #EastEnders,’ a fan wrote.
‘Mick was 12 damn poor guy. Great to see a story though of how men can be victims #eastenders,’ another replied.
A Twitter user penned: ‘Ok it’s good #EastEnders is covering child sexual abuse from a male perspective.’
While others were left heartbroken by the development, with one commenting: ‘I’m crying over the Mick and Frankie reveal, oh lord #EastEnders.’
‘Mick was 12 when Frankie was born seriously? So he was actually abused after all? #Eastenders,’ a viewer questioned.
‘Bye that #EastEnders duff duff has me in bits,’ a viewer added.
This is just the beginning of an important storyline for Mick, as he comes to terms with the sexual abuse he suffered as a child – and the long-term effects he has been dealing with.
Soap bosses have been working closely with NSPCC and Survivors UK – a specialist service for male sexual violence survivors – on the plot, ensuring it is portrayed as accurately as possible.
‘Viewers have always been aware that Mick spent many years in care, which has been the cause of his fractured relationship with Shirley but now the audience will discover just why Mick’s childhood has been so traumatic,’ Executive Producer Jon Sen said.
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