Three Girls drama about Rochdale scandal praised despite being 'a hard watch'

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Viewers watching a BBC drama about the Rochdale abuse scandal have said they had to switch off because it was too disturbing while others heaped praise on the show and said it should be shown in schools.

Three Girls tells the true story of widespread grooming and sexual assault of girls and young women in Rochdale by a gang of Asian men, which was revealed in 2012.

The three-part drama stars Maxine Peake as the scandal's whistleblower and sexual health worker Sara Rowbotham.

The first episode showed the teenage girls being beaten and raped and some viewers said they found it too hard to watch.

Kirsten Barger wrote on Twitter: "Have had to stop watching - it's too disgraceful awful terrible and still happening somewhere #threegirls, while Leanne Jackman added: "#threegirls is such a hard watch, I had to switch off" and viewer Sarah said: "#threegirls absolutely grim, this should not be on tv, had to switch off."

Dawn Ferguson tweeted: "Really struggling to watch #threegirls. I just cannot comprehend how those young, vulnerable girls were continually failed."

But other viewers said it was important the programme was seen.

Viewer Lynn Kelly wrote: "#threegirls a shocking story of abuse that's difficult to watch but needs to be seen. #maxinepeake excellent acting as always @BBCOne"

Abbie Andrews wrote: "#ThreeGirls most uncomfortable, pit of stomach sickening TV I've watched in a long time. Amazing performances" and viewer Maria said: "#threegirls is one of the most difficult things I've ever watched. But the information needs to be out there."

Nikhil Khargram tweeted: "I've never found TV so hard to watch. Absolutely gut wrenching. #threegirls."

Viewer Michelle said: "Well. Hats off to the BBC. Rotherham CSE abuse scandal excellently portrayed. #threegirls Esp if you're a parent, a MUST watch. #CSE."

Penny Sutherland was among those calling for the programme to be shown to young people, tweeting: "#threegirls this needs to be incorporated into the school curriculum to stop it happening to more young girls."

Steve wrote: "This programme should be shown in every school in the country #threegirls" while another viewer said: "#ThreeGirls powerful and hard watch.Needs to be shown in every high school and Wherever social work and safeguarding training occurs."

:: Three Girls continues on BBC1 on Tuesday.