Three girls praised as hard-hitting and eye-opening drama by viewers

Ruby (LIV HILL), Holly (MOLLY WINDSOR), Amber (RIA ZMITROWICZ)
Ruby (LIV HILL), Holly (MOLLY WINDSOR), Amber (RIA ZMITROWICZ)
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Viewers have praised the BBC's "eye-opening" drama about the Rochdale abuse scandal as the series came to an end on Thursday.

The three-part programme, Three Girls, brought to light the true story of widespread grooming and sexual assault of girls and young women in the area by a gang of Asian men.

As the recreated court case drew to a close, viewers watched Holly, Amber and Ruby embark on the challenge of rebuilding their lives as police and social services faced severe criticism for the way events were handled.

While many described it as a hard watch on social media, others told how it had opened their eyes to the reality of sex abuse.

Nicole commented on Twitter: "Three Girls was so eye opening, its so sad not knowing what goes on behind close doors!!"

Rubes added: "Three Girls has been the most hard hitting and eye opening drama, not racist just realistic."

"Three Girls is the most horrendous series I've ever watched but what an eye opener and well retold story," summarised Rachel Beckett.

Actress Maxine Peake starred in the series as Sara Rowbotham, the sexual health aid worker who first uncovered the patterns of severe abuse in the area, but struggled to bring it to the attention of authorities.

She was made redundant two years after the conviction of nine men in 2012.

Many viewers paid tribute to the whistle-blower after learning about her tireless work for the first time.

Nadine Erskine posted: "Those girls were so brave. I hope they now have the support & lives they so deserve. Thanks to Sara Rowbotham who never gave up #three girls."

"What an unsung hero Sara Rowbotham the sexual health worker in Rochdale is #Three girls thank god for people like her," added Margaret Durr.

Among those who called for a belated award, Debbie Davies appealed to the broadcaster: "@BBC well done to you for showing #three girls. Brilliantly but hard viewing. It needed to be done. Sara Rowbottom deserves an OBE."