EastEnders confirms aftermath of harrowing Yolande Trueman story

Note: This story discusses topics including sexual assault.

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders has revealed the aftermath of Yolande Trueman's devastating sexual assault, as Yolande's ordeal leads to her struggling to attend church.

Viewers have already seen Yolande challenge Pastor Clayton for behaving in an inappropriate manner towards her, although she later felt forced to backtrack on her words.

Sadly, this isn't the end of things for Yolande, as the BBC soap will air a special hour-long episode tomorrow (April 17) in which Pastor Clayton sexually assaults her at a fundraiser.

yolande trueman, pastor clayton, eastenders

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In the wake of the assault, Yolande struggles to cope and suggests that she shouldn't attend church for the foreseeable future. However, both Pastor Clayton and Patrick Trueman insist that she should keep practising her faith, as it is so important to her.

Sadly, Yolande feels overcome with dread at the idea of attending her prayer group, and she is left further troubled when Pastor Clayton, a man who she had previously thought she could trust, continues to invade her personal space.

Later on, Yolande returns home to find that Patrick has prepared a romantic evening for them to enjoy together. Unfortunately, Patrick's loving advances are triggering for Yolande and she rushes out.

yolande trueman, patrick trueman, eastenders

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Patrick is left puzzled by her strong reaction, unaware that Yolande has been assaulted by Pastor Clayton. But will Yolande confide in Patrick about what happened to her?

EastEnders has already confirmed that all aspects of Yolande's life will be impacted by the horrific assault, including her rekindled relationship with Patrick.

Actor Angela Wynter, who returned to the soap as Yolande last year, has spoken about how important it is for EastEnders to tackle the difficult storyline, explaining that many people who have been abused "are not able to speak up because those doing the abusing are in positions of power".

yolande trueman, eastenders

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"When that happens, many people fear they won't be believed, that they'll lose their job or status, or feel naïve or embarrassed, so they don't speak up," she said. "As an actor, I tell stories, and I felt I could tell this story and put a spotlight on this issue."

The director of End Violence Against Women Coalition, Andrea Simon, has also spoken about how vital it is for the soap to raise awareness of this issue.

"Sexual assault happens to women of all ages and backgrounds, but many find they aren’t believed or taken seriously," she said. "Older women, black women and others who are marginalised are at the sharp end of this, with huge consequences for their access to justice and support."

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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