EastEnders breaks format for Yolande story in early iPlayer release

Note: This story discusses topics including sexual assault.

EastEnders spoilers follow from Wednesday's episode (April 17).

EastEnders broke away from its usual format in Wednesday's double episode, which focused on Yolande Trueman's devastating story.

As previously announced, the BBC soap's hour-long special saw Pastor Clayton sexually assault Yolande at the church fundraiser.

Prior to this, Yolande had challenged Pastor Clayton for behaving inappropriately towards her, but she was later forced to apologise for her 'accusations'.

yolande trueman, eastenders

Due to her history with Pastor Clayton, Yolande was stressed in the lead-up to the fundraiser, which wasn't helped by an argument with her husband Patrick and some pointed comments from the pastor's wife Stella.

She ended up attending the event alone, determined not to let recent events get in the way of raising money for the charity.

yolande trueman, pastor clayton, eastenders

When Yolande was alone in the kitchen, Pastor Clayton entered the room and locked the door, leaving her terrified.

After being assaulted by the Pastor, a distressed Yolande headed to the Laundrette, where she was comforted by a concerned Elaine.

elaine peacock, yolande trueman, eastenders

Yolande bravely opened up to Elaine about what Pastor Clayton had done to her, with the second half of the episode shifting to focus solely on her story.

The scenes also included flashback accounts of other women who had previously been sexually assaulted by Pastor Clayton, as it became clear that this was not his first offence.

Viewers were shown how Pastor Clayton had been sexually assaulting women over several decades, but disturbingly, none of their accounts were taken seriously.

yolande trueman, eastenders

In the present day, Elaine urged Yolande to report the crime to the police.

Yolande was fiercely against the idea, unable to face the trauma of reliving the ordeal again and having everyone know what happened.

She also shared her concern for Patrick, explaining to Elaine that this would devastate him and she wanted to enjoy the time they had left without the burden of this on their relationship.

yolande trueman, patrick trueman, eastenders

Elaine eventually agreed to keep quiet, as Yolande returned home to Patrick, who was waiting for her.

Yolande tried to carry on as normal with Patrick, before quietly retreating to the hallway, where she crumbled on the stairs.

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer, where most episodes drop early at 6am ahead of their TV broadcast.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

EastEnders has been working on Yolande's story with guidance from End Violence Against Women Coalition and Hourglass, which provides specialist services and resources for women of all ages and backgrounds, who have experienced any form of violence.

More information is available from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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