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Abigail Breslin on why she didn’t report her rape: “I feared not being believed”

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Earlier this month, Abigail Breslin sparked an important conversation about sexual violence when she confirmed that she had been assaulted by someone she knew.

Now, in an emotional Instagram post, the 20-year-old actor has clarified that she was in a relationship with her attacker – and hit back at a social media troll who told her that “reported rapes are the only rapes that count”.

“First off, I was in complete shock and denial,” she writes. “I didn’t want to view myself as a ‘victim’, so I suppressed it and pretended that it never happened.

“Second of all, I was in a relationship with my rapist and feared not being believed. I also feared that, if my case didn’t lead anywhere, he would still find out and hurt me even more.

“Thirdly, I knew how hurt my family and friends would be after finding out and I didn’t want to put them through that.”


Read more: Abigail Breslin combats the myths of sexual assault and consent in Instagram post: “I knew my assailant”


The Scream Queens star goes on to reveal that the incident left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the assault – and, despite making “progress”, she regularly suffers from “flashbacks and nightmares”.

“I have made a lot of progress since the event occurred, but I won't pretend it isn't something I struggle with,” she says. “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.”

*trigger warning⚠️*

A post shared by Abigail Breslin (@abbienormal9) on

Breslin continues: “To say that rapes reported are the only rapes that count contributes to the ideology that survivors of unreported rape don't matter. It's unfair, untrue and unhelpful.

“It's like [saying] you got a black eye from getting punched in the face, but because you didn't call the police, you didn't really get a black eye.”

“Unreported rapes count. Reported rapes count. End of story.”

#knowthefacts.

A post shared by Abigail Breslin (@abbienormal9) on

Breslin previously ignited an emotional and passionate conversation on social media as a result of sharing a quote on Instagram explaining consent.

The passage – titled ‘Consent II’ – reads: “You are not obligated to have sex with someone that you’re in a relationship with.

“Dating is not consent [and] marriage is not consent.”


Read more: “I didn’t have a perfect rape but my virginity was taken from me”: Amy Schumer recalls sex assault


Breslin added her own personal caption, writing: “I knew my assailant.”

i knew my assailant. #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth #breakthesilence

A post shared by Abigail Breslin (@abbienormal9) on

Breslin’s posts are a stark reminder that being in a relationship does not give anyone the automatic right to have sex if their partner is unwilling – and many have praised her for using her platform to make people more aware of intimate partner rape.

Rape Crisis England and Wales explains: “Only around 10% of rapes are committed by ‘strangers’. Around 90% of rapes are committed by known men, and often by someone who the survivor has previously trusted or even loved.

“People are raped in their homes, their workplaces and other settings where they have previously felt safe. Rapists can be friends, colleagues, clients, neighbours, family members, partners or exes.

“Risk of rape shouldn't be used as an excuse to control women's movements and restrict their rights and freedom.”

If you would like more information or support, visit Rape Crisis UK – or, alternatively, call 0808 802 9999 (usual opening times are noon–2.30pm and 7–9.30pm any day of the year and also between 3 - 5.30pm on weekdays).

Images: Instagram/Rex Features

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