Jack P Shepherd hopes David Platt male rape storyline will help victims speak up

Jack P Shepherd has spoken about the plot which sees David Platt sexually assaulted by his new friend Josh. The pair became mates in recent weeks as David trained for the charity boxing match organised by Josh.

Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd has expressed his hope that the upcoming David Platt male rape storyline could help real life victims.

In the ITV soap David, played by Jack, is drugged and sexually assaulted by his new mate, mechanic Josh Tucker [played by Ryan Clayton]. In the scenes to be aired on Friday March 16th, the pair enjoy a night out drinking and when David wakes up the following morning (March 19th) in Josh’s bed, without Josh being around, David realises he’s been drugged and starts to remember what has happened to him.

Ashamed, David heads home and has to face the decision of whether or not he can face reporting the crime.

Jack P Shepherd said: “David thinks he has made a new friend in Josh. He hasn’t really ever had a male friend and no male role models, because his dad is not around and Nick has moved away. He’s been trying to impress Josh with his training for the fight and he is enjoying his company. He has no reason to think Josh is anything other than a mate.

“When I was told about the storyline [Coronation Street series producer] Kate Oates and I met with Duncan from Survivors Manchester and that was when I realised the gravity and significance of the storyline. David’s reaction and decision to remain quiet because he feels ashamed about what has happened is not uncommon.

“Hopefully people will start talking about the storyline and it could help someone who has gone through something similar to realise the need to open up and speak to somebody.”

In the coming weeks David will be seen struggling with what has happened, keeping everything to himself as his behaviour worries his family and friends.

Duncan Craig, Founder and Chief Executive of Survivors Manchester, and a survivor of sexual abuse himself said: “Sitting down with Jack and talking through some of my own experiences as a survivor was a brilliant experience. Jack asked me so many questions and we talked about the idea of what it is to be male, why so many men stay silent after being sexually assaulted, and what its like living in silence. He was incredibly respectful and his hunger to understand will ensure that the man sat at home watching David will feel less isolated and that’s the start of breaking the silence.”

Coronation Street continues on ITV.