Lena Dunham has penned an essay for BuzzFeed to reveal why she spoke out against her own rapist nearly a decade after she was sexually assaulted.
“It took me a long time to fully acknowledge what had happened and even longer to discuss it publicly, in the form of an essay in my book ‘Not That Kind of Girl,’” the 28-year-old Girls actress writes to start off the piece. “When I finally decided to share my story, it had ambiguities and gray areas, because that’s what I experienced, because that’s what so many of us have experienced.”
Lena says that she didn’t speak out to expose her rapist and start a criminal investigation, but instead to expose her own shame.
“I was not naïve enough to believe the essay in my book would be met with pure empathy or wild applause,” Lena adds. “But this did not prove to be the case. I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn. I have been attacked online with violent and misogynistic language. Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information.”
Lena hopes to change people’s views on women that speak out to reveal they have been sexually assaulted.
“Speaking out about the realities and complexities of sexual assault is how we begin to protect each other. I do not want our daughters born into a world that reacts to sexual violence against women in this way,” Lena said. “This reaction, which ranges from skepticism to condemnation to threats of violence, is something I have been subject to as a woman in a position of extraordinary privilege.”
To read the piece in full, visit BuzzFeed.com.