Ackley Bridge airs consent storyline for Marina Perry

·3-min read
Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

The following article contains discussion of themes including consent and sexual assault that some readers may find upsetting.

Ackley Bridge series five, episodes seven and eight spoilers follow.

Ackley Bridge has aired a powerful consent storyline for Marina Perry across two episodes.

Thursday's (July 14) two-parter, which is available along with the full series on All4, featured Marina dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of surviving sexual assault.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

Related: Ackley Bridge star Rob James-Collier addresses shift to shorter episodes

Marina had been invited to a house party by Josh, the captain of the boy's rugby team at a rival school after her team had trounced his female counterparts on the pitch.

Josh got Marina alone under the guise of posing for social media photos, but then he got upset because she didn't want to have sex with him and forced himself on her.

The next time viewers saw Marina, she was dazed in the aftermath of the assault. The night's second-part focused on Marina struggling to process what she'd been through.

While the rest of the school were celebrating her rugby victory, Marina was haunted by taunting social media messages from Josh.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

Marina finally opened up to father figure Martin (Rob James-Collier) about what she'd been through, as he assured her he'd support her.

"It was at a party with a lad. He made me," Marina explained through tears.

The police were called, as well as an independent sexual violence counsellor to speak with Marina. However, there was outrage when it was revealed Josh would be returning to the school to play in the boys' rugby match.

The Ackley Bridge students stood up for Marina by protesting the match with signs about consent, while her friends held her hands in a sign of unity.

Sue Carp called Josh "a waste of skin" and ordered him to leave school grounds, with the teen's team walking away from him to show their own disapproval of his actions.

Photo credit: Channel 4
Photo credit: Channel 4

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Marina approached to tell him: "You know what you did, and now everybody else does."

Marin then played a recording of Josh referring to her as a girl who "acted like [she] didn't want it", proving he knew she hadn't give consent.

While Marina still has much to process over this ordeal, she took heart in the support of her friends and family at the end of the two-parter.

Ackley Bridge continues on Friday on Channel 4 at 10pm, with the full series also available now on All4.

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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