Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer) was so close to getting away from controlling abuser Gray (Toby-Alexander Smith) in EastEnders but her plan was foiled after her husband insisted that the kids remain with him.
Chantelle has vowed to escape evil Gray’s clutches and, when the BBC One soap returned to screens on September 7, she set in motion a plan to do so.
With Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths) having revealed his plan on whisking the family away for a little break to Southend, Chantelle spied an opportunity, and thus set in motion her escape once more.
In tonight’s episode (September 14), she made the final preparations, but Gray — having discovered the truth about Mitch’s little getaway — started snooping.
He discovered Chantelle’s belongings in a box stored underneath the bed, and that — coupled with a conversation with Mia — resulted in him putting two and two together.
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.
As Chantelle bid farewell to Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol), she phoned the women’s refuge to let them know of her plans.
However, tragedy struck when she arrived back at No.1 Albert Square only to discover that Gray had manipulated the situation to his advantage — revealing that Mia and Mackenzie are staying put.
A horrified Chantelle worried about leaving her children with the abuser, as she came to realise that her escape plan had once again been sabotaged.
What will she do?
EastEnders continues Tuesday September 15 at 7:35pm on BBC One.
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