Tuesday 17 October 2017

Corrie's Lucy Fallon warns of dangers of grooming in Childline video

She said it is very important to raise awareness of grooming.

By Julia Hunt

Coronation Street actress Lucy Fallon has taken part in a new Childline YouTube video aimed at helping young people understand the signs of grooming.

The actress, 21, has been at the centre of a high-profile storyline which has seen her 17-year-old character Bethany Platt groomed and sexually exploited by Nathan Curtis (Chris Harper).

Lucy, who worked with the NSPCC to research her role in the ITV soap, now appears in Childline’s How Do I Know If I’m Being Groomed? video, which is part of the organisation’s weekly Voice Box series.

She is seen discussing Bethany’s story with a Childline counsellor who offers advice aimed at helping young people recognise if they are being exploited in this way.

The actress said: “Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a young person to gain their trust so they can force or trick them into doing something sexual.

“As we are seeing with Bethany’s story a young person may not understand that they are being groomed so it’s really important to raise awareness of this type of abuse.

“I’d encourage anyone who thinks they are being groomed to tell someone they trust or to contact Childline for free and confidential advice any time of day or night.”

Childline counsellor Helen Scarlett said: “Bethany’s story on Coronation Street shows how abusers exploit the vulnerabilities of their victims to increase their dependence on them and reduce the likelihood of them seeking help.

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“Hopefully by talking about some of the signs of grooming we can help young people understand the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship and encourage them to speak out if they are worried about something that is happening to them or to someone else.”

Children and young people can contact Childline for free confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk.

How Do I Know If I’m Being Groomed? is available to watch on Childline’s YouTube channel.

The Voice Box series sees familiar faces and well known YouTube personalities give practical advice and kick-start discussions on issues that affect young people.

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