The plot will explore the issue of consent

EastEnders character Ruby Allen, who returns to the soap next week after a 12 year absence, is to be at the centre of an upcoming rape storyline, which will explore the issue of consent.

The attack happens after a party, which Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) attends with Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner). The incident itself will not be shown on screen – instead, the story will begin the following day, when Ruby opens about her ordeal to Stacey Fowler.

But as Ruby is supported by her friend, it becomes clear that her attacker – who is a new character, and not a current Walford resident – has a very different version of events.

EastEnders bosses have been working with Rape Crisis on the plot, which is set to air next month.

Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) ditches Stacey for a man in the club

Ruby Allen is seen back in EastEnders next week

Says the show’s Executive Consultant, John Yorke: “From the original story of Kathy and Willmott Brown, to the abuse of Little Mo by her husband, Trevor, and Linda’s attack by Dean, EastEnders has always been at the forefront of dealing with these topical and sensitive issues.

“Whilst this story centres round an unseen rape, its real focus will challenge the stereotyping and myths that can surround sexual violence and consent. As a subject, it’s difficult and incredibly moving, but we hope that by EastEnders tackling this issue, we can raise awareness about an incredibly important issue.”

Adds actress Louisa Lytton: “As someone that has been part of EastEnders before, and as a viewer of the show, I know the impact a storyline such as this can have and, although it is a huge responsibility, I feel honoured to be part of something that, by working alongside Rape Crisis, we all hope can help end the many misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.”

EastEnders continues on BBC1.