The issue of consent is addressed in an upcoming Coronation Street storyline that sees flatmates Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney) and Aaron Sandford (James Craven) get drunk together after a night out, after which things take a very disturbing turn.
It comes amid relationship problems between Aaron and girlfriend Summer (Harriet Bibby), who isn’t impressed that he’s still in touch with an ex and having late night phone conversations with her. A night out at the bistro to celebrate Aaron being promoted at his job at the garage descends into arguments and sniping between them and Amy is uncomfortable with the atmosphere and heads home.
There’s another reason for her unease, as earlier on she and Aaron kissed as they were getting ready to go out. Amy pulled away from the kiss and felt guilty about her behaviour as Summer is her friend.
Aaron soon follows Amy in leaving the bistro, as the arguments with Summer get too much for him. The two flatmates start playing drinking games back at the flat and are both soon very drunk.
Amy goes to her bedroom to look for more alcohol but realises she feels sick. As Aaron helps her to bed they kiss, but feeling ill she rolls away from him.
With Amy almost unconscious from the amount of alcohol she’s had, Aaron makes the decision to carry on and have sex with her. Amy doesn’t realise what has happened until she wakes up the next morning and starts to come to the realisation that Aaron had sex with her without her consent.
It’s hoped that this storyline will open up conversations around issues of consent and the show has worked closely with the Schools Consent Project, whose director Monica Bhogal has said, ‘We are delighted to have been consulted on this storyline which conveys important messages around the topic of sexual consent with care and sensitivity. Its inclusion in such a wide-reaching show emphasises the crucial need for consent conversations and the power of consent education.’
The storyline will continue to explore the aftermath of the incident and the effect it has on Amy and Aaron and their circle of friends and family.
Actress Elle Mulvaney commented, ‘It will be interesting to see the character develop in a different way because this will stay with Amy for a long time. It’s important to note the way it will affect her mental health and wellbeing going forward which is something else we want to highlight with this story.’
For further information and support, visit The Schools Consent Project website here.
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