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Hollyoaks explores sexual abuse between siblings in Frankie and JJ’s story

The following article contains references to sexual abuse.

Hollyoaks spoilers follow.

Hollyoaks will investigate sibling sexual abuse with Frankie Osborne and brother JJ.

Viewers have seen Frankie struggle since she was recently reunited with long-lost father Darren Osborne, as she accused grandfather Jack of touching her inappropriately.

Jack has vehemently denied doing anything inappropriate with his granddaughter, but has moved out of the family home to give Frankie the space she needs.

At the same time, Jack has become increasingly close to grandson JJ and will buy him a golden pair of football boots in new scenes.

Next week it will be revealed that it was JJ who sexually assaulted his sister when they were younger. Frankie had suppressed these memories, but has now started to remember them.

The storyline will delve into the Osborne-Ashworth family dynamic, where JJ was always treated like a “golden boy” while Frankie was the “problem child.”

a man and woman sit on a coucha man and woman sit on a couch

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Hollyoaks producers have teamed up with advocacy group SARSAS to shine a spotlight on the traditionally under-reported issue of sibling sexual abuse.

A spokesperson for Hollyoaks said: “It remains a hidden, chronically underestimated and untreated form of child sexual abuse. It continues to be ignored, downplayed or denied by parents, professionals and authorities as harmless or non-threatening childhood sexual experiments that require no attention.

“This is despite the known lifelong effects of sexual violence and abuse on the health and happiness of survivors.”

The Hollyoaks team have had access to the results of the largest government-funded research report into sibling sexual abuse, which was recently completed after a two-year process.

Producers have worked with SARSAS to ensure the issue is portrayed realistically, while the cast involved has also been informed of the new investigation.

Hollyoaks producer Hannah Cheers has expressed hope that this storyline will put the spotlight on an issue that is “desperately deserving of attention and recognition”.

“It is one of the most rarely disclosed forms of sexual abuse, yet the statistics are startling,” the producer said. “Hollyoaks is shining a light on this issue for the first time in a long-running soap storyline, as we need to start this conversation among our multi-generational audience.

Suzanne, Nancy, JJ, Frankie and Darren in HollyoaksSuzanne, Nancy, JJ, Frankie and Darren in Hollyoaks

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“Our research, story, script and writing teams have been committed to telling this story truthfully and passionately. A huge thank you goes to SARSAS for their continued support in helping us tackle this. The performances of our brilliant newcomers Isabelle Smith and Ryan Mulvey are breathtaking.

“I believe this story will have an impact for years to come and I’m proud that Hollyoaks is still breaking new ground almost forty years later. That’s what we’re here for.”

Claire Bloor from SARSAS praised Hollyoaks’ approach to dealing with such challenging topics.

“Ongoing dramas like Hollyoaks have the potential to reach large audiences and create change in the national conversation,” Bloor said. “This storyline is an opportunity to shed light on the under-researched and under-discussed topic of sibling sexual abuse. We hope it will raise awareness of both the prevalence of this problem and the devastating impact it can have on those affected by it.

“By portraying Frankie’s story, we can take a step toward removing the shame and stigma so often attached to sexual abuse, and the taboo of talking about it, allowing it to thrive in silence.”

JJ Osborne, Suzanne Ashworth and Frankie Osborne in HollyoaksJJ Osborne, Suzanne Ashworth and Frankie Osborne in Hollyoaks

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Hollyoaks first streams online via Channel 4 every weekday at 7:30 PM. The episodes will air on E4 the next day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after.

Select omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage


If you are affected by the issues raised in this story, you can get more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and misconduct, at their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape crisis in Scotland The helpline number is 08088 01 03 02. You can also request information from SARSAS.

Readers in the US are encouraged to reach out RAIN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673.

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