Game of Thrones received a lot of justifiable heat for a scene in season five, where Ramsay Bolton rapes Sansa Stark in front of “Reek.” Numerous former-fans boycotted the show, including a U.S. Senator who called it a “gratuitous rape scene,” while the episode’s writer, Bryan Cogman, and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin spoke out about the controversy. Actress Sophie Turner initially “secretly loved” the scene, and as she wrote in an essay for for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the response “shocked me.”
Turner was angry, angry that “there is such a taboo surrounding rape and that depicting it on screen was seen as vulgar” when “sexual violence happens every day all around the world and yet for that to be represented on television, when other forms of violence are so often represented and more importantly, accepted, and even welcomed in some cases, was considered disgusting instead of important,” and it made her wonder: why?
My anger over the response then turned to excitement that the show had caused such a stir among the public and that a dialogue had been created; a dialogue that was very important. Although, I wondered why people feel so impassioned to speak out about a fictional rape when this happens all over the world every day? So unless we continually keep broadcasting people’s stories of sexual violence, then how else are people going to respond? (Via)
That’s how Turner became a patron for Women for Women International, a non-profit organization that’s “dedicated to financial, educational, and interpersonal support of women survivors of war, poverty and injustice.” She recently traveled to Rwanda, where she met with women “who aren’t able to publicize the horrors that are occurring or have occurred in their own countries.” The trip also taught her an important lesson: “No matter how bad a person’s situation can be, whether financially, emotionally, sometimes even physically; it is possible to heal and to get yourself back on track, through sheer perseverance and the power of teaching and friendship.”
To find out more about Women for Women International, click here.