Sophie Wessex reveals ‘truly upsetting’ moment that left her ‘utterly floored’ in poignant discussion about sexual violence

Sophie Wessex spoke on an experience that "brought her to her knees"

Sophie Wessex
(Image credit: Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Sophie Wessex has opened up about a "truly upsetting" experience that left her "utterly floored" as part of an important conversation about sexual violence. 

  • Sophie Wessex sat down for an interview with BBC journalist Naga Munchetty, discussing the issue of sexual violence within conflict situations around the world.
  • The Countess of Wessex recalled a heartbreaking conversation she had with a survivor of sexual violence, as part of the discussion to raise awareness ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
  • This royal news comes after a new Clarence House video left fans of Duchess Camilla convinced she is Prince Charles' soulmate

A touching video of Sophie Wessex opening up in honor of an incredibly important event was shared on the royal family's Instagram account.

The Countess of Wessex sat down with Naga Munchetty for a Radio 5 Live discussion about the "prevalence of sexual violence and rape" being used as a weapon within conflict across the globe. 

Saturday June 19th marks the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and the Countess, who lives at Bagshot Park with Prince Edward and their children, Lady Louise and Viscount James Severn, shared one of her own saddening experiences of meeting with survivors of sexual violence. 

Recalling the first time she met a survivor, Sophie admitted that she was "completely and utterly floored" by the experience. 

"This lady was, I'm guessing, probably in her 70s. But the country I was in had conflict going back for generations, and so I wasn't sure whether or not she was going to talk to me," Sophie went on. 

"But all of a sudden she got up slowly and wanted to speak to me. And she opened her mouth and started to tell me exactly what had happened."

Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Sophie added, "I don't want to shock your listeners at all, but it was really upsetting, truly upsetting."

Explaining how the in-person meetings allow her to get to get to grips with the very real nature of the harrowing situations victims face, Sophie said, "I feel, in a way, it was really important for me to hear the actual reality - because as much as the information that I have is written down on pieces of paper with statistics and, you know, individual statistics but more broader statistics as well, it's very dry in its nature.

"When you hear somebody's story of gang rape and literally physically what has happened to them, it absolutely brings you to your knees.

"I had tears falling off my face as she was talking to me."

What is the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict?

The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict falls on June 19th 2021. 

It is a day to raise awareness of sexual violence and rape being used as a weapon within conflict around the world and to honor victims and survivors. 

Victims of conflict-related violence can be any age and any gender.

The UN explains that "conflict-related sexual violence" refers to "rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, forced marriage and any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity perpetrated against women, men, girls or boys that is directly or indirectly linked to a conflict".

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.