Emmerdale consults with sexual abuse survivors for Maya and Jacob storyline

Emmerdale has consulted with survivors of sexual abuse for the soap’s storyline involving Maya Stepney and Jacob Gallagher.

Jacob, played by Joe-Warren Plant, is taking centre stage in the show at the moment as his dark new plot with Maya continues. The 15-year-old has developed romantic feelings for Maya – his History teacher and the girlfriend of his stepdad David.

Researching the story, the makers of Emmerdale have praised the UK’s leading children’s charity Barnardo’s for its insightful and valuable work after meeting its experts and some of the young people it supports.

Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said: “It was important for us to tell this storyline authentically, so we approached Barnardo’s for advice on scripts and character behaviour.

“Our researchers, story team – along with actors Louisa, Matthew and Joe-Warren – met with Barnardo’s experts and young men who have been supported by the charity.

“We met some incredible individuals and were moved by their courage and willingness to help us tell this story sensitively. Hopefully it will make young people and their parents more aware of these issues and their impact.”

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “We were really pleased to be approached by Emmerdale to advise on the serious subject of adult women grooming and abusing boys. Too often this is seen as ‘taboo’ and not talked about.”

Emmerdale airs every weeknight at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information 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.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Emmerdale spoilers, as Maya crosses the line with Jacob, and Daz causes a hit and run.

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