Content warning: This post deals with sexual assault and may be distressing for some readers.
Abigail Breslin has bravely come forward as a survivor of sexual assault with a post to her Instagram account.
The 20-year-old, who has starred in both Little Miss Sunshine and My Sister’s Keeper, shared her story in time with the United States’ Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
With the caption “I knew my assailant” and hashtags #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth and #breakthesilence, the actress posted a powerful message about consent.
Abigail’s abuse – knowing the person who did this to her – is something millions of women can relate to.
According to NSW Rape Crisis Centre executive officer Karen Willis, here in Australia more than 70 per cent of sexual assaults are carried out by family members, friends, work or school colleagues.
A further 29 per cent of rapes are perpetrated by someone the woman meets socially.
In other words, just one per cent of rapes are committed by strangers. Just one per cent.
The episode of Girls that’s about powerful men and the women they lure. Post continues…
Carolyn Worth of the Centre Against Sexual Assault told Mamamia’s Zara McDonald the assumption that sexual assault happens in dark alleyways, and is carried out by ominous strangers, starts young.
“Since they can talk, we warn children about stranger danger, that it’s strangers they need to be looking out for. Part of the reason for this, I think, is because it’s too difficult to say, ‘watch out for Grandad’ or ‘watch out for Uncle Harry’. It’s a difficult conversation to have and it’s much easier to be worried about strangers than the people we know,” she said.
“… The [predominant] dangers are acquaintances, the people you know from your friends.”
Mamamia’s Survivors of Sexual Assault Week is about providing support for the one in five women Australian women who will experience sexual assault in their lifetime. To read more from Survivors of Sexual Assault Week, click here. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, don't suffer in silence, contact 1800 RESPECT or visit www.1800respect.org.au