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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

ITV Coronation Street's Amy Barlow star Elle Mulvaney sends kindness message to fans ahead of soap's return with difficult scenes

Coronation Street star Elle Mulvaney has sent a message to fans ahead of the soap's return to screens with difficult scenes ahead. It was revealed last month that the ITV soap star's character Amy Barlow will be raped by Aaron Sanford in a new non-consent storyline.

The pair will be seen seeking each other's comfort following Amy's boyfriend Jacob Hay's exit and amid Aaron's complicated relationship with Summer Spellman following the baby-buying ordeal. In the upcoming episode, which will air on Friday (March 3), viewers will see a drunk Amy and Aaron kiss whilst back at the flat they share after his row with his girlfriend Summer, played by Harriet Bibby.

They’ll then move into the bedroom where Amy starts to undress before admitting she feels sick and rolling away from him. Aaron continues to kiss Amy who is unaware of what happens next as he makes the decision for her that they will have sex. But it won’t be until the next day that a horrified Amy discovers how far things went the night before.

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And as Amy struggles with her emotions, coming to the realisation that she wasn’t able to consent to sex and was raped, Aaron tries to convince her that they both wanted it to happen and he did nothing wrong. Then, with family and friends and then the police becoming involved, we see the different reactions and understandings of non-consensual sexual activity as both teens battle with what happened that night.

It is hoped the storyline will open up conversations between families and friends about the issues surrounding sexual activity amongst young people, including consent, awareness, respect and education.

Coronation Street researchers have worked alongside The Schools Consent Project, a charity established in early 2015 which sends legally trained volunteers into schools to deliver workshops on the legal definition of sexual consent and key sexual offences.

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday evening (March 1), as Corrie was taken off air for coverage of the latest FA Cup tie, Elle shared a selfie of herself and James Craven, who plays Aaron, on the cobbles. "Hey guys! The consent story airs this Friday so just wanted to do a post to say please remember we are just telling a story, and that we are actors portraying characters," she typed alongside the smiling image.

Elle shared a selfie with James in order to send a message to fans (Elle Mulvaney Instagram)

She added: "Always Be Kind online to others," before sharing: "If you need support, there are helpful links with support and guidance available on the ITV website. To hear more about this story, tune in this Friday to see me discuss it with Loose Women."

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News about what's to come for his character on the ITV soap, James Craven, who plays Aaron in Corrie, said: "Doing something like this isn't particularly comfortable just because of the nature of what it is but luckily we have been so well supported."

"Elle's been amazing but working with The Schools Consent Project was great because while they filled us in with all the facts and figures, it was really interesting to hear about the work they are doing and how they approach the situation and what kind of situations they are dealing with. It also reaffirmed for us why we are doing the storyline in the first place because it does highlight the fact that unfortunately, this is something that is far too common and far too normalised. Hopefully, after something like this, we can try do something to help that."

Adding praise on to his co-star Elle, James added: "The crew were amazing and you could feel this energy on set and everyone felt really focussed and when you feel that everyone is locked in to something, it makes it a lot easier to do it because you feel like everyone's working towards one thing which was a great feeling. Everyone's going to see how good she [Elle] is in this. Elle's amazing."


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