The issue of consent is brought right to the front of a harrowing upcoming EastEnders storyline, as Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) is raped by a man he considered to be a friend.
Lewis (Aidan O’Callaghan) has become someone that Ben has come to trust over recent weeks. As Ben struggled in the aftermath of the homophobic attack on husband Callum (Tony Clay) at the start of the year, Lewis was often the one he was able to confide in.
When Ben and Callum’s marriage hits a crisis point following Ben’s various vigilante actions against homophobes, it’s Lewis that he once again turns to.
This time they meet after Ben has been drinking. Hurting from angry words exchanged with Callum, Ben finds Lewis on a dating app and the two arrange to meet.
The mood becomes flirtatious and then develops into something more passionate as they head upstairs, but Ben changes his mind after he gets a cute selfie from husband Callum and daughter Lexi (Isabella Brown). He tells Lewis that it’s been a mistake, fully expecting Lewis to accept that he’s changed his mind.
But Lewis refuses to let Ben go, and brutally rapes him.
Ben is left shocked and desperately trying to process what happened. Will he be able to confide in anyone about what the shocking attack?
Need support? Contact Survivors UK
You can visit the Survivors UK website here for more information and support on men and non-binary people who have been affected by rape or sexual abuse.
You can chat to a support worker by texting them on: 020 3322 1860
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