EastEnders' Louisa Lytton says Ruby Allen rape storyline has helped victims come to terms with their own sexual assault

The actress, 29, revealed on Lorraine earlier today that viewers had been in touch to express how much her character's storyline had helped them come to terms with their own experiences.

When asked by host Lorraine Kelly how the reaction had been to the recent storyline, the soap star said: “A great reaction.

"I was quite surprised. I’ve had loads of people contact me directly on social media just saying, ‘This is the closure I’ve needed for so long, this incident happened to me 10 years ago, I questioned whether it was rape or not, this episode has confirmed to me that in fact it was.’

"I was surprised myself actually just how quickly that reaction has happened and that’s the whole point of this storyline to hopefully open that conversation for men and women and hopefully educate.

“It is important that it’s done right.”

Louisa added that she was "grateful" to have been trusted with telling such an "important" storyline on screen.

She said: "I got a phone call from [boss] John Yorke to say, ‘We’d love to bring your character back and here’s the nature of the story’.

"I was grateful to be trusted with such an important storyline.”

She was joined on Lorraine by Katie Russell, from Rape Crisis, who worked with the soap on the storyline and said: “We really welcome drama, especially ones as popular as EastEnders, that reach so many people and such a diverse audience, tackling topics like this.

"It’ll be evident as the story unfolds that we still have a lot of public education and awareness raising to do when it comes to the issue of consent.”

Louisa's appearance comes days after she admitted she didn't watch EastEnders for more than a decade after she quit playing Ruby – because it felt like "breaking up with a boyfriend".

The actress said she only caught up on the twists and turns in the BBC One drama recently because it was too painful to watch the soap before she was asked back.

She told Metro: "I hadn’t really watched it. When I left at such a young age, it was a weird feeling like breaking up with a boyfriend and having to see them again.

"It left a weird, heavy feeling in my stomach. Obviously when I got the call I started watching again to know who everybody was."

Ruby first appeared in EastEnders in 2005 after running away from boarding school to look after her gangster father Johnny.

She had relationships with Juley Smith and Sean Slater, before she left in 2006 after her father died and she fell out with her best friend Stacey Fowler.

  • EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights on BBC One

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