Sophie Turner says her character being raped and abused in 'Game of Thrones' led her to become an activist

Sansa Stark has been through a lot over the past seven seasons of “Game of Thrones.

Since leaving her homestead of Winterfell, Sansa has seen her father executed, her mother and brother murdered, and she has been held hostage by abusive husbands of House Lannister and House Bolton.

It was the latter that saw her raped by Ramsay Bolton in one of the show’s most controversial scenes.

Read more:
The ‘Game of Thrones’ star who plays Ramsay Bolton dismisses critics of the notorious Sansa rape scene

Nevertheless, Sansa has always come out on top, and so too has the actress that plays her: Sophie Turner.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar published on Sunday, Turner said that the adversity faced by her character in “Game of Thrones” inspired her to become an advocate for women’s rights in real life.

“Initially, I didn’t feel there was anything that stayed with me from all the things Sansa went through,” Turner said.

“But though I think it hasn’t affected me emotionally, I did start thinking about the domestic abuse and rape, and it spurred this little part of me that might be an activist.”

In 2017, Turner became an ambassador for Women for Women International – a charity that helps female survivors of war rebuild their lives.

She visited Rwanda, where the UN estimates that up to 500,000 women were systematically raped during the genocide of 1994.

She also wrote a short essay for the Thomson Reuters Foundation about the taboo surrounding rape and her experience in Rwanda.

“At first I was angry,” she wrote.

“I was angry that there is such a taboo surrounding rape and that depicting it on screen was seen as vulgar.

“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.

She went on: “In a time where it seems a lot of focus is being placed upon domestic issues and concerns, it’s important that we draw some attention to the people who aren’t able to publicise the horrors that are occurring or have occurred in their own countries,” she wrote.

Despite the trials and tribulations faced by Sansa, Turner told Harper’s Bazaar that the end of “Game of Thrones” will be a tough pill to swallow.

“I’m just coming to terms with it right now, it’s like a death in the family,” she said.

“I’m losing the character I’ve played so long.”

“Game of Thrones” returns for its eighth and final season on April 14.

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