America Ferrera Writes About Being Sexually Assaulted When She Was 9 Years Old

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Ferrera. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Sparked by the actresses coming out to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of producer Harvey Weinstein, women started sharing their experiences of sexual abuse and misconduct on social media with the hashtag #MeToo. The hashtag was suggested by Alyssa Milano to gauge the magnitude of our societal sexual-abuse problem. In a heartbreaking post on Monday night, Superstore actress America Ferrera shared her story, which began when she was in elementary school. “First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9 years old. I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9 year old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man,” Ferrera posted to Twitter and Instagram, hours after tweeting a simple “#MeToo.”

The actress explained, “I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come. 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 & I knew — that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back.” Ferrera’s story joins those of literally thousands of other women, including fellow performers Gabrielle Union, Evan Rachel Wood, Anna Paquin, and so many others. Concluded Ferrera, “Ladies, let’s break the silence so the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bullshit.”

America Ferrera Writes About Being Sexually Assaulted at 9