Coronation Street star Harriet Bibby praises show over Amy and Aaron story
Coronation Street’s Harriet Bibby has heaped praise on the ITV soap for exploring consent and sexual assault.
The actress, who plays Summer, said: "I think it's really important [to tackle the issue of consent]. When we've done rape storylines before they have normally been attacks and I think instances like this where there has been no consent happen far more frequently than anyone would like to imagine."
Recent scenes on the soap saw Amy raped by Aaron after a night out, with Aaron's girlfriend Summer given a false version of events from him. Scenes next week will see Summer discover the truth.
Related: Coronation Street star Elle Mulvaney reveals future of Amy's dark storyline
On if she was shocked to hear Aaron could be capable of such a thing, Harriet said: "I was shocked, but that’s what is so interesting about it.
"I think a lot of people's initial reaction to this storyline has been 'but Aaron is such a nice guy, he wouldn't do this', and I think that is the whole point, that is why we are doing this storyline with Aaron and why James [Craven] has taken on this role."
She added: "It’s different to some rape storylines because it’s not a violent attack. He doesn't believe he's doing anything wrong in that moment and ultimately Aaron is still a nice person, he's just done a horrific thing and he needs to realise that he's done that horrible thing."
While Summer does believe her best friend Amy is telling the truth, the attack will impact her going forward and she'll find it hard to trust people, with Harriet adding: "Summer's not one to forget quickly and I do think that it will definitely complicate relationships in the future."
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But ultimately, Harriet is pleased Coronation Street is shining a light on the issue of consent.
"I think a lot of young women and young men will have been in situations like this and probably been convinced that nothing bad happened, or it was their friend and they didn't think they were doing anything wrong, or they’re made to think that they both wanted it to happen," she said.
"I think it is one of the things that gets brushed under the carpet a lot and it will happen frequently. So I think it is really important to shine a light on consent and say actually, this is not okay."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage
Coronation Street has been working with the Schools Consent Project on Amy's storyline.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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