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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June, 2004, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
Concern over rape in EastEnders
Little Mo
The episode has proved controversial
TV watchdogs have expressed concern over a rape scene in EastEnders.

The episode of the BBC soap focused on the distress of Little Mo Slater [Kacey Ainsworth], who was assaulted in the Queen Vic pub by a customer.

A distressed Little Mo confided in policewoman Kate Mitchell, who then spoke of seeing her own mother's rape.

Six complaints were received by media regulator Ofcom, which said it was concerned at the content, "given the mixed age ranges in the audience".

The BBC agreed it "was a degree more adult in tone than was appropriate" for the pre-watershed time slot.

Ofcom said it welcomed the BBC's concerns about the "suitability of this episode for family viewing and the review of its procedures".

"Nevertheless we agreed with the BBC and felt that the nature and tone of the programme was unsuitable for broadcast at this time," it said.

'Unsuitable'

It was the second time Little Mo has been the victim of rape.

The BBC said the episode was a way of highlighting the danger of "groomed rape", a form of assault perpetrated by someone known to the victim which is "an increasingly common crime".

The episode was preceded by a warning and followed by an announcement offering support to anyone affected by the storyline.

The BBC governors discussed the episode last month and concluded that it was unsuitable for family viewing.

A study carried out by Ofcom in April showed that parents were becoming increasingly concerned about levels of sex and violence in TV soaps.




SEE ALSO:
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