People who have been sexually assaulted tend to keep quiet about the wrong done them for fear of public humiliation or that they may not be believed.
However, in recent times, sexual assault victims have been vocal about their ordeals and have not shied away from calling out the offenders.
The public is more empathetic now to such cases and have spearheaded calls to justice for the victims.
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Award-winning actress Angela Basset was a co-host for the just held Rape Foundation’s annual brunch last Sunday.
For the first time, the actress publicly shared a story of how she was molested as a teenager.
According to Hollywood Reporter, a teenage Basset was fondled by her mother’s then-boyfriend while she was asleep in her bedroom at night.
She also used the platform to praise her mother for believing her and quickly taking the necessary actions to protect her from her predator.
She went on to say that the form of validation from a mother can help the victim recover quickly.
“And thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him, that she heard me, believed me and did something about it, I think was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman.”
She went on to add that though it was not a full-on assault because he touched her breasts in her sleep, for a teenager it can be pretty damaging.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13,” the actress stated.
As a mother of 13-year-old twins, daughter Bronwyn and son Slate Vance, Basset said it was important to teach her children boundaries at an early age because then they would be more aware of any anomalies when they occur and be more sensitive to other people’s space and feelings.
“I started that early because of experiences with friends, and I know that they will be in situations one day,” Bassett explained. “When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no.”
With 22 years of marriage under her belt, Basset and her husband Courtney B. Vance have been named ‘couple goals’ in Black Hollywood.
She goes on to say that no parent would want to expose their children to such atrocities at an early age, but the world is full of people ready to pounce on the vulnerable.
That’s why it’s important to have institutions in our communities like the Rape Treatment Center, in Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center to provide help to victims and educate people on the possible dangers and measures needed to counter them, she said.
“I wish we didn’t live in a world where sexual assault existed,” said Bassett. “I wish they weren’t victims of such a heinous, life-altering crime.
“I wish we lived in a world where our children felt effortlessly protected, without any fear of someone violating or hurting them,” she said on the red carpet.
The “What’s Love Got to Do With It” star then proceeded to the main event where she reiterated the purpose for their gathering in her opening statement. She asked the guests to be vigilant in their fight against sexual abuse.
“Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act and that means us. That’s why we’re all here today — to see, to hear, to learn and to never, never miss anything.”