Sam and Lydia talk in the Dingle household in Emmerdale
Sam makes a decision (Picture: ITV)

Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick) continues to struggle in the aftermath of being raped by Craig Reed (Ben Addis) in Emmerdale.

Her feelings of shock and betrayal that her childhood friend, the father of her baby Toby who died at birth, could do such a thing have been compounded by guilt. Lydia worried that she might have led Craig on or encouraged him in some way, although she very firmly told him that she was happily married and she didn’t want sex with him.

Having to go back to work in the office where the attack took place makes everything much harder, as Karen Blick told us.

‘She has a physical response, kind of post traumatic stress as a result of what she’s been through. Seeing him again brings up the images of what happened, the thoughts, the feelings regarding that. So she’s trying to process that.’

Karen commented that Craig’s attitude after the rape totally influences Lydia’s responses to what’s happened and how she deals with it.

‘That’s the place where it happened, seeing the perpetrator who’s denying it even happened and her version of events. She’s being gaslighted and that’s just compounding her day to day life and how she’s able to cope or not cope. The self doubt, the feelings of guilt, people are not going to believe her. As time progresses for Lydia that becomes worse.’

A promotional shot of Lydia Dingle in Emmerdale
The ordeal begins to impact Lydia’s loved ones (Picture: ITV)

It also affects her family as Lydia is unable to confide in Sam (James Hooton) about what’s happened and emotionally shuts down. He has no idea why she’s behaving differently towards him and makes plans to go to Ireland. Sam does his best to reconcile with his wife before he leaves, but he feels she’s pushing him away – and wonders whether Craig has replaced him in her affections.

‘They’re a really strong, solid couple who absolutely love each other dearly,’ Karen told us. ‘They are soul mates. Lydia’s biggest fear is how will Sam view her once he knows what’s happened. Will he look at her in the same way? That’s what she fears. because she feels so bad about what happened and she worries about how Sam will feel about her. Will Sam believe her? All sorts of things go through her mind.’

As Sam leaves for Ireland, worrying about his relationship with his wife, Karen said that this is a complete low point for Lydia.

‘Lydia is terrified this could mean the end of her marriage to Sam, which is her absolute world,’ she explained.

‘And the end of being part of the Dingle family which means so, so much to Lydia. She grew up in care, in isolation, she’s estranged in many ways from her own family, so the Dingles are her absolute world.

‘In terms of their marriage going forward, I really hope they can support each other and come out the other end.’

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