Abigail Breslin is no stranger to speaking out on social media. She regularly uses her Instagram and Twitter to share posts about the importance of consent, and to spread awareness about rape culture and sexual assault — a topic close to her heart.
In a recent post on her Instagram page, the #ScreamQueens star posted a RAINN infographic which outlined how few sexual assaults are reported, trialled and prosecuted in an effort to spread awareness about how unjust the system is towards rape victims.
Another Instagram user commented on the image, saying that the "only rapes that count are reported rapes." This clearly struck a nerve, and Breslin used the opportunity to open up about her own experiences, and why she didn't come forward right away after she was sexually assaulted — while making some incredibly important points in doing so.
Captioning the post with a trigger warning, Breslin writes:
"First off, I was in complete shock and total denial. 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."
She then goes on to explain that she has suffered from PTSD since the incident, and still struggles with nightmares and flashbacks, but goes on to explain why it's "unfair, untrue and unhelpful" to only "count" reported rapes.
"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 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."
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Breslin first opened up about her experiences during April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month, where she posted an image reading "You are not obligated to have sex with someone that you're in a relationship with. Dating is not consent. Marriage is not consent." She then captioned the image with "i knew my assailant. #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth #breakthesilence."
She has also encouraged others to share their stories, taking to Twitter to engage with fans and thank them for their love and support. Debra Messing, who plays Breslin's mom in the 2017 #DirtyDancing remake, also tweeted her support of the 21-year-old's bravery.
It's incredibly brave for anyone to be so open about such a traumatic and personal experience, but it's amazing to see #AbigailBreslin using her platform and ordeal to educate and spread awareness in such a powerful way.