EastEnders is working with charity Rape Crisis on an upcoming storyline that explores the issue of consent.
The plot will begin after Ruby Allen, played by Louisa Lytton, is raped after a party.
The actress has reprised her role after 12 years away from the BBC soap and is expected to make her return to Albert Square next week.
Viewers will not see the attack but will learn about what happened when Ruby confides in Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) and it becomes clear the perpetrator is telling a very different version of events, which will raise a debate among the characters about consent.
Yvonne Traynor, CEO of Rape Crisis South London, said the story will highlight the complex issues that surround sexual violence.
She said: “It is so vital to the safety of men, women and children to understand sexual violence and not to make assumptions or believe the myths and stereotypes that are often portrayed.
“EastEnders have taken this responsibility very seriously and ensured that their portrayal of sexual violence has been thoroughly researched and is based on realism which is, sadly, so prevalent in our country today.”
John Yorke, the executive consultant of EastEnders, added: “From the original story of Kathy and Willmott-Brown, to the abuse of Little Mo by her husband, Trevor, and Linda’s attack by Dean, EastEnders has always been at the forefront of dealing with these topical and sensitive issues.
“Whilst this story centres around an unseen rape, its real focus will challenge the stereotyping and myths that can surround sexual violence and consent.
“As a subject, it’s difficult and incredibly moving but we hope that by EastEnders tackling this issue we can raise awareness about an incredibly important issue.”
The storyline is due to air in the autumn and Lytton said: “As someone that has been part of EastEnders before, and as a viewer of the show, I know the impact a storyline such as this can have and although it is a huge responsibility, I feel honoured to be part of something that, by working alongside Rape Crisis, we all hope can help end the many misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.”
The storyline will air this autumn following Ruby’s return to Walford.