This story discusses topics including rape and sexual assault.
The BBC has defended EastEnders over scenes featuring Dean Wicks blackmailing Linda Carter into keeping the rape he committed on her a secret.
In November, fans of the soap were outraged by some of the upsetting scenes that aired, with one of the many social media reactions reading: "This is absolutely disgusting and clearly shows a lack of respect for real-life victims, all in the name of a storyline?? Shame on you EastEnders."
A summary from the broadcaster posted this week acknowledged that it had "received complaints from viewers who had concerns that Linda was blackmailed into falsely retracting a rape allegation".
In response, the BBC said:"EastEnders is a fictional drama that has a rich history of tackling sensitive issues and Linda's story is one of these. Since Linda's rape storyline aired in September 2014, viewers have been aware that Dean has never admitted his guilt.
"Whilst dramas often portray situations that may not be the same as real life, we believe our audience know to expect such storylines and, we are also confident that regular EastEnders viewers will be aware that these scenes will form part of a bigger storyline where the issue will be tackled again."
Linda and Dean's challenging storyline first began in 2014, with Dean technically being acquitted by a court over a separate offence in 2016.
Following his recent clash with George Knight, Linda promised Dean that she'd stop speaking out against his abuse if he dropped all charges against George.
Rather than accepting her terms, Dean countered by suggesting to Linda he'd only do so if she publicly claimed the rape didn't happen.
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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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