Maxine Minniver (Nikki Sanderson) is brutally attacked in Hollyoaks next week while walking home after a night out, as part of a storyline that is highlighting the issue of women’s safety.
The hugely important episodes will see Maxine separated from her friends on the evening in question, and will highlight the stark difference between women’s experiences on the walk home after a night out in comparison to men’s.
‘I think it’s incredibly important that Hollyoaks have created such a fantastic storyline regarding the issue of women’s safety,’ actress Nikki Sanderson told Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s such a huge ongoing problem that we face and we’re hearing about it, very sadly, on a daily basis.
‘I think it’s fantastic that Hollyoaks are highlighting the issue in the hopes that everyone can come together as a team to move forward and eradicate the problem completely.’
It’s an episode that will hit home with so many, with Nikki explaining that every woman she knows and has met will understand Maxine’s fear.
‘I think that everyone and anyone that I have spoken to, whether it be myself or friends or colleagues when discussing this subject, has experienced in some capacity something that has made them extremely uncomfortable whilst walking alone.
‘I don’t think that anybody is exempt from that which clearly shows that we do need to make a change and we do need it to stop.’
The events of the storyline see Maxine head out in Liverpool with girlfriends Verity Hutchinson (Eva O’Hara) and Theresa McQueen (Jorgie Porter), hoping have some fun.
The evening gets off to a great start, as the trio enjoy a dance at a club in town, but things take a shock turn when Maxine gets separated from her friends and is subsequently kicked out.
The Long Walk Home episode, which airs on Monday (November 7) on E4, picks up from here, as Maxine navigates her way home alone without money or a mobile phone, ending in her being violently attacked.
The special outing of the Channel 4 soap will see her examine whether different choices she had made during the evening would have changed the outcome.
‘I’d like the viewers to be able to take away from the episode the message that we’re trying to get across that we need to be able to work together to keep people safe,’ added Nikki.
‘That there are ways and means that we can do this and also it’s about education we’d like to educate that it’s not the fault of the person who is being attacked, but the fault solely lies on the person who is attacking.
‘With the Maxine storyline, its not about what you wear, its not about how drunk you are, it’s not about how you wear your hair, it’s not about where you go out on a night out, its not about who you go on a night out with, you should be able to live your life exactly how you want it without that fear of being attacked.
‘You should be able to do what you want, go where you want, wear what you want and feel safe.
‘It’s not about the person that’s been attacked, it’s about the person who is doing the attacking, they need to be educated that it’s not right and people can live their lives as they wish to in a safe environment.’
If you are aged 16+ and have experienced rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse or any other type of sexual violence – or you’re not sure what happened – you can talk to Rape Crisis England & Wales.
Their telephone helpline is open 24/7 – 0808 802 9999 or you chat to them online (hours available on website)
For more information about what you can do to help safely tackle Violence Against Women and Girls visit gov.uk/enough
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