Broadchurch actress becomes Rape charity patron

Julie Hesmondhalgh played Trish Winterman Credit: ITV

Broadchurch actress Julie Hesmondhalgh has become the patron of a rape crisis charity following her depiction of a rape victim in the ITV drama.

Hesmondhalgh said she was proud to have "given a voice" to rape victims in the eight-part crime serial.

The Dorset Rape Crisis charity, which was consulted by the programme makers before and during filming, said it was "excited" she had agreed to take the position.

Credit: ITV

The storyline of the third and final series of Broadchurch, which is part-filmed in West Bay, centred on the rape of Trish Winterman - played by the former Coronation Street star.

Helen Stevens, from Dorset Rape Crisis, said they were very excited to welcome Julie as patron. The charity, based in Poole, supports all victims of sexual crime, and wanted to show people that help is out there.

"I feel very proud to be part of increasing the profile of anybody who is doing this incredible, important, essential work."

Julie Hesmondhalgh

The charity have recently received a major award from BBC Children in Need are expanding their Children’s & Young Persons ISVA service help support more children and young people in Dorset.

In the past year they have seen a 30% increase in referrals for this specialised work.

Credit: ITV

If you have been affected by the issues mentioned in our report, you can contact organisations including the Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre - telephone helpline 01202 308855; Refuge - telephone helpline 0808 2000 247; and Rape Crisis England and Wales - telephone helpline number 0808 802 9999.