Downton Abbey Rape Storyline Badness

So I watched Downton Abbey, Season 4, Episode 3 last night, and oh dear god, ouch.

If you haven’t seen it yet and portrayals of sexual assault, violence and rape upset you or trigger you in the PTSD-sense, for the love of all that’s holy, take care and avoid it if you can.

I’m not a rape victim/survivor as such, as far as the society standard of stranger grabbing you from an alley goes, but I’ve had more than my fair share of sexual harassment incidents, and not-quite-sexual-assaults that fucked me up emotionally and sexually.  But the storyline last night was traumatic, upsetting and unnecessary. I woke up from nightmares this morning and spent most of today feeling decidedly unsafe in my own skin. I dread to think how others were affected.

I love the show, I really do, and the characters mean a lot to me. Anna is one of my favourites, and now, Sunday night’s story has happened and the trailer makes the rest of her story look bleak. She hasn’t told anyone apart from Mrs Hughes and she flat out refused to tell Mr Bates, her husband, the one person she should most be able to trust. I really hope she’ll be okay and be able to heal and find peace, but I doubt it will happen.

I think I will be writing to ITV/OfCom about it, because seriously, that episode hurt me.

 

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