The topic of non-consensual sex is being addressed by Coronation Street in a plot thread that saw Aaron Sandford (James Craven) rape Amy Barlow (Elle Mulvaney).
According to data compiled by The Schools Consent Project for the World Health Organization, it is a problem that is all too prevalent today, with 1 in 3 women suffering sexual violence in their lifetime.
In tackling this storyline, the actress Elle Mulvaney acknowledged that she feels a “huge obligation” and a “close connection” to it.
‘As awful as it sounds I know so many individuals who’ve gone through something like this’, she revealed. This is not unusual, and I think it’s fascinating to explore these murky waters and to really discuss consent because, sure, Amy didn’t say no, but she also didn’t say yes.
To correctly and realistically depict this plot, Coronation Street collaborated closely with The Schools Consent Project.
The Schools Consent Project is a nonprofit organisation that was founded in the beginning of 2015. It sends volunteers with legal training into schools to present workshops on the legal meaning of sexual consent and the most common sexual offences.
It’s about examining these signs; was she actively participating? Was she using nonverbal affirmations? The subject of consent is so intriguing because of all these factors, and because it isn’t clear-cut, we can have a variety of important discussions about it, according to Elle.
“The Schools Consent Initiative” did an excellent job. They spoke to us about various indicators for consent, such as the ones I’ve already mentioned about non-verbal communicators, and they really helped you see things from a different viewpoint.
What the Coronation Street executive producer aims to accomplish with this plotline was disclosed.
“I have been struck by the number of people who have put their hands up to say they’ve had a similar experience to Amy since we began discussing this storyline. We anticipate that our audience will find this tale to be incredibly relatable and that it will spark meaningful discussions about consent-related topics.
Elle also expressed her expectations for the audience’s interpretation of this terrifying plot.
Hopefully, it will make this less of a grey issue. The next time someone is going to do something, they should stop and consider: Has this individual given me any verbal or nonverbal cues that they want to have sex? Have they demonstrated to me with zeal that they want to be a part of this or not?
“And if that can even make one person stop and think before they just have sex with someone, they don’t know if they’re awake or not because they haven’t bothered checking – then I feel like something’s been learned from the tale,” the man continued.
Even simply starting talks. I’ve talked to a lot of people at Corrie who have said, “When I heard about this storyline, I had conversations with my boys” or “I had conversations with my girls,” and for me, that speaks volumes about the story’s effect. Because bringing up those topics at home and having those crucial discussions—especially with kids or younger teenagers—is all about education.
The goal is to educate the public. Young adults who are maturing into adults and increasing their sexual activity are much better prepared to handle the situation than perhaps some people are right now because they are educated and conscious of the issues.