As sexual assault hits the headlines again this week, a high-profile woman feels compelled to share her story
Modern Family actor Sarah Hyland has revealed that she was sexually assaulted as a teenager, in an act timed in solidarity with the alleged victims of US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The 27-year-old took shared her story on Twitter this week, soon after Dr Christine Blasey Ford testified that Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her in an incident 36 years ago.
Hyland says she was attacked by a high school friend who broke into the bathroom she was in at a New Year’s Eve party. She stayed silent until now because “I thought no one would believe me”.
“I didn’t want to be called dramatic,” she adds. “After all I didn’t say no.”
Earlier this week, a Senate committee voted to approve Kavanaugh’s nomination to America’s top court, after hearing testimony from Dr. Ford.
The California-based psychology professor claimed the attorney forced her down on a bed at a house party that they both attended in 1982, when they were teenagers.
He groped her and attempted to remove her clothes while covering her mouth, she said, adding that he only stopped when another man (whom she says had been laughing) intervened.
Kavanaugh angrily denied that an assault took place, as he did allegations of sexual misconduct from two other women; Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.
Hyland, who plays Hayley Dunphy in one of Hollywood’s most popular comedy series, later called on Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination to the Supreme Court, writing: “I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I believe Deborah Ramirez. I believe Julie Swetnick”.
She also paid tribute to the “good men” in life, posting a photo of herself with her boyfriend Wells Adams on Instagram.
Hyland’s message echoes that of Dawson’s Creek actor Busy Phillips, who revealed she had been raped in an emotionally charged message on Instagram earlier this week.
“#TBT This is me at 14. The age I was raped. It’s taken me 25 years to say those words,” she shared with her followers.
“I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it 4 months ago. Today is the day we are silent no more. All of us.”
She added, “I’m scared to post this. I can’t imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now.”
The case against Kavanaugh has divided America, with some claiming he is the victim of a political hit campaign and others applauding the bravery of his accusers in coming forward
His confirmation to the Supreme Court has been delayed while the FBI conduct a week-long investigation into the accusations made against him.