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Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has called for the end of the abuse and sexual harassment of women on the street.

The actress, 38, has told how people need to pull together to ‘put a stop to it’ in society as she fronts a new Home Office campaign in a bid to prevent more killings like those of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

It comes as Nikki, who plays Maxine Minniver in the Channel 4 soap, is set to take a starring role in a special Hollyoaks episode titled The Long Walk Home, which details her character’s fear as she’s separated from her friends on a night out.

Speaking out: Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has called for the end of the abuse and sexual harassment of women on the street (pictured on Hollyoaks)

Speaking out: Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has called for the end of the abuse and sexual harassment of women on the street (pictured on Hollyoaks)

Speaking out: Hollyoaks star Nikki Sanderson has called for the end of the abuse and sexual harassment of women on the street (pictured on Hollyoaks)

Speaking to The Mirror about the importance of highlighting the issue, Nikki said: ‘Even something like cat-calling, where you have people shouting derogatory, nasty things at you and you are on your own is massively intimidating.

‘I’ve also spoken to people who have experienced different volumes of micro-aggressions towards women. It can be hard to say, “I feel uncomfortable about this”, but you should be able to call it out. It has become very prevalent in our society and we need to put a stop to it.’

Nikki is supporting the latest phase of the government’s Enough Campaign, which began after the backlash against violence against women following the rape and murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard in March last year.

Important: The actress, 38, has told how people need to pull together to 'put a stop to it' in society as she fronts a new home office campaign in a bid to prevent more killings like those of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa

Important: The actress, 38, has told how people need to pull together to 'put a stop to it' in society as she fronts a new home office campaign in a bid to prevent more killings like those of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa

Important: The actress, 38, has told how people need to pull together to ‘put a stop to it’ in society as she fronts a new home office campaign in a bid to prevent more killings like those of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa

The newest stage of the campaign sees bystanders encouraged to cause a distraction or get out their phone and film incidents in a bid to help crack down on unwanted sexual behaviour against women in public places.

The campaign urges people to directly intervene in such instances by using statements such as: ‘That language is not OK’, or ‘It is against the law to do that’.  

The ‘Enough’ campaign has been publicly backed by police forces, women’s safety groups and multiple charities. 

Hollyoaks are set to air scenes echoing of Libby Squire’s ordeal, with the 21-year-old killed in 2019 while walking home alone after being refused entry to a nightclub and separated from her pals.

Role: It comes as Nikki, who plays Maxine Minniver in the Channel 4 soap, is set to take a starring role in a special Hollyoaks episode titled The Long Walk Home, which details her character's fear as she's separated from her friends on a night out

Role: It comes as Nikki, who plays Maxine Minniver in the Channel 4 soap, is set to take a starring role in a special Hollyoaks episode titled The Long Walk Home, which details her character's fear as she's separated from her friends on a night out

Role: It comes as Nikki, who plays Maxine Minniver in the Channel 4 soap, is set to take a starring role in a special Hollyoaks episode titled The Long Walk Home, which details her character’s fear as she’s separated from her friends on a night out

Nikki’s character Maxine is kicked out of a club and loses her friends, purse and mobile phone and is forced to head home alone.

As she makes her way through the streets, she is catcalled by a group of lads and harrassed on public transports before eventually being followed and attacked by a complete stranger. 

On the storyline, the star adds: ‘This was an important thing for us to tackle. Maxine comes away blaming herself for the attack. But you know it isn’t her fault. She should be allowed to go where she wants without feeling she’s in danger. It’s more about what people could have done to help her.’

Nikki went on to say that the Enough campaign is about getting people to ‘change behaviours’ and realise there are ways that you can help.

Harassment: It can be hard to say, "I feel uncomfortable about this", but you should be able to call it out. It has become very prevalent in our society and we need to put a stop to it'

Harassment: It can be hard to say, "I feel uncomfortable about this", but you should be able to call it out. It has become very prevalent in our society and we need to put a stop to it'

Harassment: It can be hard to say, “I feel uncomfortable about this”, but you should be able to call it out. It has become very prevalent in our society and we need to put a stop to it’

Tragic: Nikki is supporting the latest phase of the government's Enough Campaign, which began after the backlash against violence against women following the rape and murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard (pictured) in March last year

Tragic: Nikki is supporting the latest phase of the government's Enough Campaign, which began after the backlash against violence against women following the rape and murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard (pictured) in March last year

Tragic: Nikki is supporting the latest phase of the government’s Enough Campaign, which began after the backlash against violence against women following the rape and murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard (pictured) in March last year

She added that working on the storyline alongside the campaign is an ‘absolute honour.’

TfL (Transport for London) launched a similar campaign earlier this year aiming to protect women and girls from ‘common examples’ of harassment, including upskirting, cat calling and exposure.

As part of the initiative, posters were installed across their network warning: ‘Intrusive staring of a sexual nature is sexual harassment and is not tolerated.’

Police-recorded sexual offences soared to their highest level on record over a 12-month period (183,587) in the year to December 2021.

This was a 22% increase on 2020 (150,748) and up 13% from 2019 (163,067). Cases involving rapes, stalking and domestic abuse and also spiked.

Danger: Nikki's character Maxine is kicked out of a club and loses her friends, purse and mobile phone and is forced to head home alone

Danger: Nikki's character Maxine is kicked out of a club and loses her friends, purse and mobile phone and is forced to head home alone

Danger: Nikki’s character Maxine is kicked out of a club and loses her friends, purse and mobile phone and is forced to head home alone

Source: | Dailymail.co.uk

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