A Burton charity boss has praised top television soap Coronation Street for its portrayal of the difficulties victims of grooming can face while trying to get the case to court.
Tracey Hardie, the chief executive of Sarac, has applauded the ITV soap for not making it appear easy to get those responsible for grooming young people to court as part of its storyline on the drama revolving around Bethany Platt.
In the show the teenager was groomed by Nathan, a much older man, after he made her believe that they were in a relationship. She was then made to sleep with other men, at one point more than one, until she realised what was happening when he tried to take her abroad.
The storyline is that the abuse has now been reported to the police, with Bethany giving a statement, but the family was dealt another devastating blow when they were told there was not enough evidence to take it to court.
However, Ms Hardie said that this is sadly often the case as it is difficult to get the evidence for cases to go to court.
She told the Burton Mail: "I am really pleased that they have done that. Sometimes dramas make it seem that with this system it all falls into place and the victim gets that support and their day in court with the bad guy going to prison.
"I understand why this happens but it is very rare in real life as it is difficult to get the evidence. We know in this situation that the victim is withholding information but there is still plenty of evidence that she was groomed. The CPS is saying that is not enough and that is not unusual.
"The CPS is there to make sure there is enough evidence to support the costs involved in the trial. If they are not around then it is going to fall apart. It is devastating for the person trying to get justice to get that knock back from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS absolutely has my full respect; we need that in place.
"It would be worse if it went to court and then the trial fell through because there is not enough evidence.
"It can be the start of them going off the rails as they go through all that and still the person gets off.
"I am proud of Coronation Street for bringing that in. It is showing that it is not always straight forward and the effect it can have on the person involved. It is real damage they can cause when the system lets them down."
Sarac has experts on hand which can help people talk through sexual abuse, assaults and rape and find a way to move forward to be a survivor, with help available over the phone and during one-to-one sessions.
The team will not be shocked by anything they hear and will listen to everything as well as helping the victim to deal with what has happened to them.
More information is available by calling the helpline on 01283 517185.