Content warning: This post deals with sexual assault and may be distressing for some readers.
The Little Miss Sunshine star 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.
And now 20-year-old Breslin has responded to a comment on another one of her posts that read “reported rapes are the only rapes that count”.
In an Instagram post Breslin spoke about why she didn’t report her rape, writing: “I didn’t report my rape. I didn’t report it because of many reasons”.
The actress explained that she was in “complete shock and total denial” after she was raped by someone she knew.
“I didn’t want to view myself as a ‘victim’ so I suppressed it and pretended it never happened.”
The My Sister’s Keeper star goes on to explain that she was in a relationship with her rapist and she feared she would not be believed.
“I also feared that if my case didn’t go anywhere, he would still find out and hurt me even more.”
Thirdly, Breslin didn’t report her rape because she “knew how hurt [her] family and friends would be after finding out” and she didn’t want to put them through that.
In the post Breslin also shares that she was diagnosed with PSTD a year and a half ago.
“I have made a lot of progress since that event occurred, but I won’t pretend it isn’t something I struggle with.”
“I still have 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.”
Breslin finishes her post by saying that “it’s unfair, untrue and unhelpful” to say that only reported rapes count.
“Unreported rapes count. Reported rapes count. End of story.”
Breslin’s followers have thanked her for bravely speaking about her experience and creating some awareness around unreported rape and consent.
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“This is so important. I didn’t report my rape because I was threatened not to, and was afraid of not being believed. The amount of times I’ve been asked ‘but did you report it?’ – as if that’s the only way to legitimise what happened to me – is sickening. Thank you for speaking out, it helps the rest of us remember we are not alone, and there are strength in numbers,” one person wrote.
“I didn’t report my molestation because it would ruin the family name and everyone in my family would have turned against me. Thankfully I’m away from that part of the family now,” commented another.
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