EastEnders' Ruby Allen is to be raped on her return to Walford.

Louisa Lytton

Louisa Lytton

The BBC One soap have teamed up with specialist service Rape Crisis - which supports women and girls who have experienced sexual violence - to explore the subject of consent for a new storyline in which Louisa Lytton's character will be sexually assaulted.

Louisa 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."

Viewers will see Ruby confide in pal Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) about the attack - which will not be shown on screen - which will happen at a party they both attend, but the perpetrator tells a different version of events, raising the debate about consent.

John Yorke, 'EastEnders' executive consultant, said: "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 round 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."

Yvonne Traynor, CEO of Rape Crisis South London, 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."

The storyline will take place this autumn following Louisa's return to Albert Square after 12 years away from Walford.

Ruby's story comes four years after 'EastEnders' character Dean Wicks - who was played by Matt Di Angelo - raped Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) in the Queen Vic in October 2014.