Hollywood actress Ashley Judd has opened up about her own experience with rape in a powerful essay published on Mic.com amid her current fight against Internet trolls.
Judd, 46, decided to speak out about gender violence after receiving vulgar comments in response to a March Madness tweet she wrote earlier this week. She later said that she would be pressing charges, reported Us magazine.
“What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood,” she wrote.
“My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I’ll describe specifically what happened to me.”
In the essay, titled “Forget Your Team: Your Online Violence Toward Girls and Women Is What Can Kiss My Ass,” the University of Kentucky fan explained that her tweet about the Arkansas Razorbacks “playing dirty” turned into tweeters name calling her. Others went as far as threatening rape.
Judd then recalled her own past, and explained why she won’t stand by the abuse any longer and neither should anyone else.
“I am a survivor of sexual assault, rape and incest. I am greatly blessed that in 2006, other thriving survivors introduced me to recovery. I seized it. My own willingness, partnered with a simple kit of tools, has empowered me to take the essential odyssey from undefended and vulnerable victim to empowered survivor,” Judd wrote.
“Today, nine years into my recovery, I can go farther and say my ‘story’ is not ‘my story.’ It is something a Higher Power (spirituality, for me, has been vital in this healing) uses to allow me the grace and privilege of helping others who are still hurting, and perhaps to offer a piece of education, awareness and action to our world."