EastEnders delivered some powerful scenes tonight involving Frankie Lewis and sexual harassment.
On Wednesday’s episode, Frankie was followed home by an aggressive creep after a night out with Lola, Whitney and Dottie. Tonight, viewers saw the consequences.
Frankie couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being followed. And she was right to be wary. The guy, who had sexually assaulted Frankie on the dance floor earlier that night, had also got off the tube at Walford station.
The man continued to torment her and trapped her against a wall, but a bystander intervened, giving Frankie a chance to leave the house.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Frankie’s dad Mick said after detailing her ordeal to him and Shirley.
“I’m not to be saved,” Frankie replied.
“I know I shouldn’t. I understand you,” Mick said.
“No. You don’t understand,” said Frankie. “I had the key in my hand the whole time. I walked the safe way. I even walked past this place in case he followed me. I didn’t fight him. I didn’t drive him. I said No. I did what I had to do to to stay safe. But I was very scared. Because he thinks it’s okay.
“They don’t see me as a person. They see me as a… thing.’
Frankie didn’t like Mick’s answer that he went to the police.
“You want this to stop, you have to step up. Do something about it!” Mick insisted, leading Frankie to give another strong speech.
“Do you think the police will take me seriously?” She asked her dad. “Do you know how hard it is to get someone to listen, even when it’s rape, Dad?
“You want to know why the police won’t do anything about it? Because it’s happening to millions of us! Women and girls. The constant low-level sexual harassment, every day! And it’s so much easier to fire us because they’re half the population!
“So no. I don’t want to HAVE to fight it! I don’t want to “do something about it!” Because I’m not the problem here, am I? Am I??”
Will Frankie be vindicated?
EastEnders airs Monday-Thursday at 7.30pm. on BBC One. The show is also streaming on BBC iPlayer.
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