Lena Dunham Opens Up About Her Rape: ‘I Felt Powerless’ [VIDEO]
While speaking at Variety's Power of Women 2015 lunch, Lena Dunham opened up about being raped when she was in college.
Lena began her speech by discussing sex trafficking in America and the way pop culture can glorify the perpetrators — and often views the victims as willing participants.
"When I was raped, I felt powerless," she said. "I felt my value had been determined by someone else, someone who sent me the message that my body was not my own and my choices were meaningless. It took years to recognize my personal worth was not tied to my assault. The voices telling me I deserved this were phantoms, they were liars. So as a feminist, and a sexual assault survivor, my ultimate goal is to use my experience, my platform, and yes, my privilege, to reverse stigma and give voice to other survivors."
"I see a lot of women I love right there and all around," Lena said. "Trauma can make us narcissistic and myopic, turning us inward as we struggle with what we have seen, felt, and repressed. But connecting with other survivors reopens our world. Instead of scrambling for power by silencing other women, we're able to mutually strengthen each other through collaboration and support."
Lena wrote about the sexual assault in her 2014 memoir, Not That Kind of Girl. In an open letter, she later addressed her decision to discuss the ordeal, writing, "I was inspired by all the brave women who are now coming forward with their own experiences, despite the many risks associated with speaking out. Survivors are so often re-victimized by a system that demands they prove their purity and innocence. They are asked to provide an unassailable narrative when the event itself is hazy, fragmented, and unspeakable. They are isolated and betrayed by people close to them who doubt their reality or are frustrated by their inability to move on. Their most intimate experiences are made public property.”
You can watch Lena's powerful speech from the April 24 event in the video above.
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