Viewers have praised hard-hitting drama Three Girls as the series drew to a close last night. The final episode showed victims Holly, Amber and Ruby trying to rebuild their lives as the authorities in Rochdale came under scrutiny for their handling of the case.

Viewers have praised the BBC’s “eye-opening” drama about the Rochdale abuse scandal as the series came to an end on Thursday.

The three-part programme, Three Girls, brought to light the true story of widespread grooming and sexual assault of girls and young women in the area by a gang of Asian men.

As the recreated court case drew to a close, viewers watched Holly, Amber and Ruby embark on the challenge of rebuilding their lives as police and social services faced severe criticism for the way events were handled.

While many described it as a hard watch on social media, others told how it had opened their eyes to the reality of sex abuse.

@NicoleDodsonx tweeted: Three Girls was so eye opening,its so sad not knowing what goes on behind close doors!!

@SaraNicole0507 wrote:Strongly feel/believe that the “three girls” should be shown to teenagers in school

@moran_ruby tweeted: Three Girls has been the most hard hitting and eye opening drama, not racist just realistic

Actress Maxine Peake starred in the series as Sara Rowbotham, the sexual health aid worker who first uncovered the patterns of severe abuse in the area, but struggled to bring it to the attention of authorities.

She was made redundant two years after the conviction of nine men in 2012.

Many viewers paid tribute to the whistle-blower after learning about her tireless work for the first time.

@NadineErskine tweeted: A hard watch, but essential viewing. Powerful & heart wrenching. Sara Rowbotham u r tremendous

@rainbow1410 labelled Sara Rowbotham an “unsung hero”.

She wrote: What an unsung hero Sara Rowbotham the sexual health worker in Rochdale is #Three girls thank god for people like her