EastEnders were left both heartbroken and enraged in equal measure tonight as Gray Atkins (Toby-Alexander Smith) ruined his wife Chantelle Atkin’s (Jessica Plummer) plans for escape.
In Monday night’s episode, Chantelle put her plans into motion to flee Albert Square after suffering increasing abuse from her husband.
Chantelle managed to successfully convince Gray that she was simply taking a short holiday with her family, and — later — informed Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) that she did not plan on returning.
But, after packing as much as she could, the Taylor clan arrived at the door of No.1 in their holiday attire.
It turned out that Gray questioned their daughter on when she was told about the holiday and when realising it wasn’t a last-minute plan, Gray suggested Chantelle go away with the Taylors while the kids stayed at home with him.
The realisation that she was being torn apart from her children then dawned on Chantelle.
Viewers were left reeling from the latest development in the harrowing storyline, with one reacting on Twitter: ‘Oh poor Chantelle this is must be agony and we all know how this will end.’
‘Grey has well and truly went beyond megalomaniac territory. I hope this nut job gets what he deserves after this week,’ one commented.
Another weighed in: ‘He knows she won’t leave her kids,’ while one stated: ‘I can’t bloody deal with this #EastEnders story line. So so tense and sad.’
Praising the BBC One soap for their handling of the sensitive topic of domestic abuse, another said: ‘The best storyline at the moment is the Chantelle and Grey story. Well done powerfully written and acted.’
It has been confirmed that Chantelle will die in tragic scenes, as Gray murders her.
EastEnders airs on BBC One.
EastEnders domestic violence – get support
Two thirds of women who were experiencing abuse from their partner/ex-partner in June told a Women’s Aid study that their abuser had started using lockdown restrictions or the Covid-19 virus and its consequences as part of the abuse. (66.7% of those answering question – Women’s Aid Survivor Survey, June 2020).
At the height of lockdown over three quarters of women living with an abuser said they felt they could not leave or get away because of the pandemic. (78.6% of those answering question – Women’s Aid Survivor Survey, April 2020).
You can get support and information from Women’s Aid by visiting the website or contacting the free instant messaging service.
You can get support and information from Refuge – which holds a comprehensive and detailed guide to seeking help on the website.
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