Abigail Breslin Speaks Out About Why She Didn't Report Her Sexual Assault
"I still jump when somebody touches me unexpectedly"
Earlier this month Abigail Breslin spoke out about a personal experience of sexual assault and now she's opened up further to explain why she didn't feel like she could report the rape to the police.
Now acting as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, Abigail took to Instagram over the weekend to share an inforgraphic from RAINN detailing how low the conviction rate for rapists is.
Abigail was particularly struck by the response of one follower, who replied to the post saying: "Reported rapes are the only rapes that count."
Deciding to respond personally, she wrote her thoughts out in full and posted them to Instagram too, explaining why - among other reasons - she disagrees with that statement because it overlooks the fact that not everyone feels safe and secure enough to report what has happened. As she explains, it allso discounts how different people feel able to deal with trauma, and that they shouldn't have to feel any guilt for the way they process events.
What's more, she explains this opinion stems from personal experience as she herself didn't report her own assault.
"First off, I was in complete shock and total denial," Abigail writes to try to help the commenter understand. "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 would hurt me even more. Thirdly, I knew how hurt my friends and family would be after finding out, and I didn't want to put them through that."
Explaining how the rape left her with PTSD, something she's still dealing with now, Abigail adds: "I have made a lot of progress since the event occurred, but I won't pretend it isn't something I struggle with. 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.
"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."
If you're affected by rape or sexual assault, you can find confidential support, advice and info from The Survivor's Trust right here.
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