EastEnders has confirmed the start of an important storyline for Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) which sees the character coming to terms with the non-recent sexual abuse he experienced as a child at the hands of carer Katy Lewis.
Frankie (Rose Ayling-Ellis) arrived on the Square earlier this year and has turned Mick’s world upside down. After Mick’s suspicions of Frankie had him worrying for his youngest son’s safety, he demanded to know why she was so interested in his family but he wasn’t prepared for her response as she told him that he is her father.
Mick was adamant she had got the wrong person, until Frankie mentioned her mum’s name, Katy Lewis, taking Mick back to his childhood.
Unable to confide in his family about Frankie’s relation to him, things took a turn in tonight’s episode when Tina (Luisa Bradshaw-White) happily reminisced to Frankie and the Carters about Katy, stating that she was their beloved care worker when she and Mick were in care.
Immediately realising that Mick was 12-years-old, and her mother older, Frankie was silently appalled but Mick, clearly confused about his past, privately tells her it’s not what she thinks.
The storyline will look at the impact the revelation has on Mick and his ongoing struggle with abandonment and understanding that what he experienced was abuse.
Having repressed what happened to him, the story will portray Mick suffering with some of the long-term effects of abuse with his emotional difficulties, panic attacks and mental health problems worsening as a result and how this impacts his family.
Both NSPCC, the UK’s leading children’s charity, and SurvivorsUK, a specialist service for male and non-binary sexual violence survivors, worked closely with the team on the storyline.
The charities consulted on scripts and story elements as well as facilitated speaking to real survivors of child sexual abuse to ensure that Mick’s story is as accurate as possible.
Jon Sen, Executive Producer EastEnders said: ‘Viewers have always been aware that Mick spent many years in care, which has been the cause of his fractured relationship with Shirley but now the audience will discover just why Mick’s childhood has been so traumatic.
‘This storyline will see Mick having to confront the demons of his past, something he has desperately tried to avoid for many years and face up to the realisation that he experienced abuse while he was in care.
‘Our work with SurvivorsUK and NSPCC has been vital in informing and grounding Mick’s story very much in reality. We hope this storyline will help to challenge the perceptions, the stigma and the shame – particularly experienced by male survivors.’
You can access support and information from NSPCC here.
You can access support and information from SurvivorsUK here.
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