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Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch Talks About Sexual Assault

Given the current state of Hollywood, the latest episode of Riverdale could not be more topical, and this is probably why viewers found it so emotional and confronting.

While the main plotline sees Betty being tortured by the town's serial killer, the Black Hood, season two's fifth episode saw Cheryl Blossom, Madelaine's character, go through a terrible ordeal.

The episode 'When a Stranger Calls', introduced a new character, Nick St. Clair from Veronica Lodge's hometown.

Nick and Cheryl had an instant attraction, and after rumours that her character would get a romantic interest this season, I personally thought that this episode would bring no more than a romantic kiss between the two.

I certainly did not expect what actually happened, and apparently I wasn't alone. Viewers were alarmed to watch the moment that Nick spiked Cheryl's drink at a party and then attempted to sexually assault her.

Thankfully, Cheryl was saved from her attacker by Veronica, Josie and the pussycats, but the scene opened a conversation about the fact that sexual assaults are alarmingly common.

And since the episode aired, Madelaine felt it necessary to address the confronting scene, and to let victims of sexual assault know that help is out there.

"When I read episode five and obviously what happened to Cheryl...I cried," Madelaine says in a video on her Youtube channel.

"I wanted to do this to bring to light an organisation or a place to go if you need information and if you need someone to talk to."

"To know that you're not alone, that's a huge message that a lot of people could have used. Knowing that you're not alone and that people genuinely care, is really important."

While we're used to seeing a dark and kind of cruel side to Cheryl on the show, we love that we get to see the softer side to her, well Madelaine, in real life. Especially as she gives a voice to such an important issue.

Watch the entire video above.

If this story brings up any issues for you please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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