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ITV's Broadchurch to Support Extension of National Rape Crisis Helpline Hours during Season 3

16 Feb 2017

The national Rape Crisis helpline for England and Wales  will be open for 14 hours a day during the eight weeks that the third and final series of popular TV drama Broadchurch is on air.

The helpline, run by Rape Crisis South London, a member of Rape Crisis England & Wales, is normally open every day of the year between 10am and 12.30pm and 7 and 9.30pm. From Monday 27th February 2017, when Broadchurch Season 3 starts at 9pm on ITV1, lines will be open non-stop between 10am and midnight every day for eight full weeks, thanks to support from the programme makers. 

The national Rape Crisis helpline provides specialist, confidential and independent listening, support and information to women whose lives have been affected by rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence, regardless of how long ago or whether or not they have reported to the police. The number is 0808 802 9999 and is free to call, including from mobiles. 

Broadchurch Season 3, which sees the return of popular stars Olivia Colman and David Tennant, focuses on the story of a rape survivor, played by acclaimed actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, and the impact her experience has on her, her loved ones and the wider community. The Broadchurch writers, producers and actors consulted closely with the Rape Crisis centre, police and Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) local to where the programme is set in Dorset, to ensure as realistic and accurate a depiction of sexual assault and its aftermath as possible.

Rape Crisis England & Wales said:

"Rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse are increasingly featuring on television and it's very encouraging that programme-makers seem ever more determined to tell survivors' stories in responsible and empathic ways, using popular culture to raise wider awareness and understanding of the realities of sexual violence.

To this end, it's positive when teams like the one behind Broadchurch, who want to avoid stereotypes and help bust myths, come to specialist charities like Rape Crisis for expert guidance. At the same time, Rape Crisis Centres face increasing demand and need for our specialist services, which remain under-funded.

We're really pleased that Broadchurch has chosen to support our vital work by enabling the extension of the national helpline opening hours for this eight-week period, recognising that many victims and survivors who see the show might seek out our specialist services as a result." 

To find out how you can help support life-changing Rape Crisis work, nationally or in your local area, visit our Support Us pages here.