Angela Bassett recently opened up about being sexually violated as a child, and the Oscar-nominated actress stressed the power in being believed as a victim.
Before hosting the Rape Foundation’s annual brunch on Sunday (October 6), Bassett, while speaking with reporters, recalled a “devastating” experience she had as a young girl. According to Variety, she shared that she woke up to find a man her mother was dating fondling her while she was asleep.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13,” she said.
The Black Panther star added that her mother did not hesitate in believing her for a second when she explained what her boyfriend at the time did to her.
“Thankfully, to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him,” she added. “That she heard me, believed me and did something about it, I think was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman.”
Bassett, who has 13-year-old twins, Bronwyn and Slater, with her husband, Courtney B. Vance, added that, because of this experience, she has taught her kids the importance of respecting boundaries.
“I started that early because of experiences with friends and I know that they will be in situations one day,” she said. “When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.