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America Ferrera reveals that she was sexually assaulted as a 9-year-old

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Kayleigh Dray
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America Ferrera has, as part of the #MeToo movement on social media, revealed that she was sexually assaulted by an older man when she was nine years old.

“First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was nine years old,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a nine-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man.”



Ferrera went on to explain that she never told anyone about the incident and was forced to spend time with her abuser on a regular basis afterwards.

“I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come,” she continued. “He would smile at me and wave, and I would hurry past him, my blood running cold, my guts carrying the burden of what only he and I knew – that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back.”

“Ladies, let’s break the silence to the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bulls**t,” she added.



The Me Too movement comes as the list of allegations against Harvey Weinstein is growing steadily longer, as more and more women – among them Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose McGowan – come forward to accuse the Hollywood producer of sexual harassment, assault, misconduct and rape. He is currently being investigated by police in the US and the UK.

Amid some asking why so many women took so long to share their stories, and a controversial essay by The Big Bang Theory actor Mayim Bialik appearing to blame women, actor Alyssa Milano called on social media users to share the times they have been sexually harassed or assaulted, using the hashtag #MeToo, in order to highlight the magnitude of the problem.

As vox.com reports, there was a similar movement over a decade ago started by Tarana Burke to empower black sexual assault survivors.

Since then, thousands of men and women have shared their personal stories – with a number of notable names, such as Lady Gaga and Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood, identifying themselves as victims.

“Being raped once made it easier to be raped again. I instinctually shut down. My body remembered, so it protected me. I disappeared. #metoo,” Wood wrote as part of a series of tweets on her experience.

“Sharing my stories and feeling less alone really helps. So thank you for listening.”

And, while the #MeToo hashtag is trending worldwide, other hashtags are also being generated in a show of solidarity.

In France, Twitter users are using #balancetonporc or “squeal on your pig” to encourage women to name and shame their attackers.

Elsewhere, the hashtag #womenwhoroar is being used to encourage victims of bullying or sexual abuse to speak out and make their voices heard.



There has been no response from Weinstein regarding the #MeToo hashtag. But through a spokesperson, he “unequivocally denies any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

For more on the Harvey Weinstein case, click here.

Images: Rex Features