‘Emmerdale’ divided viewers on Monday (24 April) night, when scenes showing Rhona Goskirk being raped on her wedding day were aired.
The much-discussed episode saw Rhona and Pierce Harris tie the knot, but when they returned to their home for some time to themselves after the ceremony, the mood soon changed and the events culminated in Pierce attacking his new wife.
An argument first developed when he revealed that he’d put in a offer in on a new home and veterinary practice away from the village, leading Rhona to accuse him of “being stuck in the 1950s”.
Their row soon got worse though as Pierce brought up her drunken kiss with Paddy, accusing Rhona of wanting to remain in the Dales so she can keep her ex “on the backburner”.
When Rhona then tried to escape, he sexually assaulted her, with the scene showing him forcing her onto the floor.
While it was an understandably difficult watch, many viewers took to Twitter to praise the soap for tackling the topic of marital rape, though others admitted to finding it “distressing”:
Actress Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona, has discussed the scenes on multiple occasions, and previously revealed that she feared they would be cut for being too “brutal”.
“When I read it, I found it quite shocking,” she said. “I didn’t imagine that the story would go to where it’s gone to.
“When we rehearsed it, which we don’t normally, I did air my concerns about how brutal some of the stuff we were doing was. I asked: ‘Are we going to be able to show all of this?’
“Our director said: ‘We can’t half-tell this story. You can’t cut it down or make it less brutal, because what he’s done is brutal and awful.
“If we don’t tell it properly, then we’re not doing our jobs right’. So that’s why it’s so awful to watch.”
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