Emmerdale fans divided over shocking Pierce rape scene

Justin Harp
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Warning: The following article contains descriptions of sexual assault that may be triggering for some readers.

Emmerdale stunned viewers on Monday (April 24) as the latest grisly twist in the Pierce Harris storyline included some of the most violent scenes in the soap's history.

Photo credit: ITV

Ominous signs of Pierce's (Jonathan Wrather) future with Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) surfaced early on in the episode, when Pierc very nearly called off their wedding in a rage. While the two did ultimately tie the knot, their happiness was short-lived.

After ducking out of the reception at The Woolpack to celebrate privately, the mood between the newlyweds soured and quickly turned violent when Pierce sussed that Rhona had once kissed Paddy behind his back.

Pierce's dark side once again shone through as he shoved his wife to the floor and brutally raped her in a genuinely disturbing climactic scene. As a traumatised Rhona tried to make sense of her attack in the final moments of tonight' episode, Pierce attempted to justify his sadistic behaviour.

For some viewers, seeing such disturbing events unfold in the 7pm hour was a step too far:

However, other fans felt that Emmerdale was both highlighting an extremely important issue and authentically portraying the trauma of sexual assault.

It's important to note that Emmerdale producer Iain MacLeod and his writing team worked with Women's Aid and Rape Crisis to help portray the rape scenes as sensitively as possible.

Last week, Zoe Henry revealed that she initially wondered when reading the script if some of the violence was simply too brutal to air on telly... but quickly realised that the scene reflected the brutality that goes on unnoticed in so many homes.

Photo credit: ITV

"When I read it, I found it quite shocking. I didn't imagine that the story would go to where it's gone to," Zoe explained.

"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."

The fallout from Pierce's heinous abuse - and Rhona's desperate attempt to get away from her evil husband - will play out on Emmerdale once again tomorrow night (April 25) at 7pm on ITV.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland's helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

Read more news, spoilers and gossip on our Emmerdale homepage

Want up-to-the-minute soaps news, spoilers and gossip on your social feeds? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Soaps Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @soapscoop Twitter account.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Emmerdale spoilers, as there's wedding day horror for Rhona and a cheating scandal for Adam.

You Might Also Like

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes