| Last updated
Progressive, sensitive, incisive: Sex Education has emerged as the peak of modern teenage drama, with one particular storyline in the latest season making an impression on viewers.
The show’s second season debuted on Netflix less than a week ago but millions have already streamed every episode, with thousands upon thousands of tweets praising its handling of sensitive plot points, expansive representation, taboo-busting treatment of sex and chuckling at its many, many funny moments.
One character’s plight stands out from the rest, one that will surely resonate with women all across the world: everyday sexual assault and the severity of its effect on mental health.
In the third episode, Aimee (played by Aimee Lou Wood) gets on the bus for school, holding a large birthday cake for Maeve (Emma Mackey). With no seats, she stands for the duration of the journey – until a random man walks up behind her and masturbates on her leg, prompting her to get off immediately.
Looking back at the ghosts of comedy’s past, this is the kind of scene that would have been played for laughs and ignored. For a brief period it seems the show is taking this route, with Aimee seeming completely nonplussed by the whole ordeal. It’s only when Maeve forces her to report it to the police that it truly sinks in, with Aimee suffering trauma from there onwards.
Over the course of the next few episodes, Aimee grows increasingly uncomfortable around her boyfriend and has to walk to school every day as she can’t handle the aftershock of being assaulted on the bus.
One Twitter user praised the show’s handling of Aimee’s slow collapse in dealing with the assault, writing:
What hurt the most in Sex Education S2 is how Aimee tried so hard to be strong, thinking she was overreacting and doing everything to stay cool. It hurt so bad to watch that. Imagine having to walk to and from school each day to stay sane.
Another commented: ‘I almost cried seeing the psychological trauma Aimee had to go through after being sexually harassed.’
However, it’s a happy ending for Aimee. After a heartbreaking scene where she acknowledges how much she’s struggling after the incident, breaking out in tears and saying, ‘I can’t get on the bus,’ her new Breakfast Club band of friends come together to help her overcome her fear.
In their discussion of trying to find a common ground, the girls realise that unsolicited sexual advances unite them, with each sharing their own stories of harassment. She meets them all at the bus stop the next day, where they encourage her to get on, leading to an inspiring scene of all the girls sitting at the back of the vehicle – together, strong.
Fans of the show have dubbed it one of the greatest TV moments ever, with one writing: ‘Okay so that moment in season two where they all get on the bus with Aimee was super sweet. I teared up. Seeing them all come together to help her was such a wonderful thing.’
Another wrote: ‘Aimee’s story is so significant. I’m so glad that Maeve convinced her to report the violence and and the support of all the other girls, just wow. No-one should be afraid of just walking around and talking about these things that happen daily is always good!’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read