This post includes discussion of suicide and sexual assault that may be distressing to some readers.
American actor Ashley Judd had an incredibly challenging childhood.
Her mum – the late country music singer Naomi Judd – had her two daughters young, was financially disadvantaged and had been physically and sexually abused herself.
Sadly for the Judd family, that trauma became generational.
In her 2011 memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, Ashley said she had attended 13 schools before turning 18. She also shared that in her life she has been abused at the hands of numerous men, including an unnamed family member. The #metoo and #timesup advocate was also one of the first women in October 2017 to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
Then in 1999, Ashley became a victim-survivor of another rape.
For the last few decades, Ashley has been an avid women's advocate, using her platform to call out injustices and rally for safe abortion access and women's safety.
And this week, she revealed that twenty years on from that sexual assault experience, she tracked down the man who had raped her. And they had a conversation.
Watch: Ashley Judd speaks to Diane Sawyer on her Harvey Weinstein encounter. Post continues below.
Reflecting on that conversation she had with her rapist, Ashley referred to it as a form of "restorative justice".
"It was crazy-making because I knew better. I was very clear, my boundaries were intact," she said on the Healing With David Kessler podcast. She also noted that although she was in a safe enough space and position to talk with her rapist, it definitely didn't mean all other victim-survivors should consider the same.
"I was already an empowered, adult feminist woman. And that this could happen under these circumstances was unconscionable [and] unforeseen."
As for tracking him down, a man whose identity remains publicly anonymous, Ashley said when she tried to search for him he surfaced "very easily".
"To make a long story short, we ended up in rocking chairs sitting by a creek together. And I said, 'I'm very interested in hearing the story you've carried all these years.' And we had a restorative-justice conversation about that. I didn't need anything from him, and it was just gravy that he made his amends and expressed his deep remorse, because healing from grief is an inside job."