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Joanne Froggatt urges more sexual violence awareness

Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt is pushing for an increased awareness when it comes to sexual violence.

The actress, who portrayed beloved housemaid Anna Smith on the series, sat down for an interview with Radio Times and revisited her characters much-discussed rape storyline.

“I didn’t expect that scene to be so controversial," the 37-year-old shared. “I suppose people didn’t expect a show like Downton to tackle the subject of rape, you don’t see too much of those sorts of things in period drama."

Froggatt revealed she did not expect the episode to be so headline-grabbing as it depicted something that frequently occurs in reality.

“But sexual violence against women is a horrific thing, and the fact that the press and audiences seemed shocked, shocked me," she noted.

“I don’t know why as a society we find that subject so shocking to talk about," she continued. The more we talk about it, the better.”

The award-winning star currently appears in the political thriller series Liar and is grateful for the impact Downton had on her career.

“Downton Abbey has changed my life,” she said. “Having opportunities to do amazing things like tour the White House came from doing that show, and I’ll always be grateful.”