Thursday, 16 March 2017

Coronation Street praised by charities for grooming storyline

Charities have been praising Coronation Street for its grooming storyline about Bethany and Nathan. 

BBC News reports that Ofcom have received one complaint but children's charity Barnardo's has praised the soap for "shining a light on this serious but little discussed issue".

A spokesman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) told the BBC: "Soaps play an important part in highlighting abuse and in giving victims the courage to speak out. We hope it will raise awareness of the signs of grooming and encourage more victims to come forward and seek help."

The NSPCC has been working with Coronation Street producers on the storyline and had put the show's writers in touch with a survivor of child grooming.

Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo's, acknowledged some viewers would be uneasy but said it would raise awareness about the issue.

"This storyline makes for difficult watching but it's important as many people as possible are aware of the signs of grooming, so we can prevent this abuse happening," he said.

"Like Bethany's character, the young victims of this crime mistakenly think these child sex abusers care for them because they're often showered with presents and attention."

Coronation Street producer Kate Oates told the BBC: "Bethany's story has been crafted over many months, to create an awareness for viewers about the dangers of grooming. Bethany's story is a challenging watch, but we hope it will encourage open discussion amongst friends and families about self-esteem, confidence and most importantly, safety."

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