Alim Kheraj
April 24, 2017 2:59 am

It takes immense courage and bravery to share intensely personal and distressing parts of your life, and anyone who decides to open up about topics like sexual assault deserves to have their story heard and to be commended for their actions. In this case, Abigail Breslin has opened up about reporting sexual assault, and what she has to say is so important.

Earlier this month, Breslin shared her experience with sexual assault in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The actress, who is set to star in the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake, offered some moving and powerful words about consent on Instagram, noting that just because you’re in a relationship or married doesn’t automatically mean that consent has been given.

In the post, Breslin noted that she herself had been the victim of a sexual assault, stating that she had known her assailant. The message echoes RAINN’s statistics that seven out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knew the victim.

Now in a follow-up post, Breslin has shared more details about her experiences, and explained why she didn’t report the crime at the time.

First, the Little Miss Sunshine actor shared a shocking infographic created by RAINN that details how out of 1000 rapes that occur, 994 perpetrators will walk free.

Giving her next post a trigger warning, the 21-year-old responded to a comment that stated that “reported rapes are the only rapes that count.” Breslin then gave the reasons why she didn’t report the crime committed against her.

Continuing, Breslin said that, following the incident, she was diagnosed with PTSD, and noted that while she has made progress in moving on from what happened she “still [has] flashbacks, I still get nightmares, I still jump when somebody touches me unexpectedly, even if it’s my best friend tapping me on the shoulder.” 

“To say that reported rapes are the only rapes that count contributes to the ideology that survivors of unreported rape don’t matter. It’s unfair, untrue, and unhelpful,” she finished. “It’s like if you got a black eye from getting punched in the face, but because you didn’t call the police, you didn’t really get a black eye. Unreported rapes count. Reported rapes count. End of story.”

We can’t imagine the amount of courage it must have taken Abigail Breslin to share her thoughts on this matter, and, as we know, sharing stories can help others who have experienced similar things. We also know that victim-blaming is a real issue, too, and hopefully by opening up the conversation together we can help debunk myths about sexual assault.

We’re sending Abigail all our positive thoughts, and we’re so proud of her. Hopefully her words will help others.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). You can also visit RAINN, End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for more information about sexual assault and rape. 

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