The pervasiveness of sexual assault is becoming clearer and clearer in Hollywood as so many are stepping forward to vocalize their experiences.
Reported numbers say that 1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted or abused in some way, though this is just the number of those who report it. Experts admit it is probably closer to 1 in 2.
Actress Joy Bryant is opening up about being apart of the #metoo movement, in more ways than one. Not only has she been the victim of sexual assault, but she’s actually also the product of it.
Bryant penned an emotional letter about her experiences she’s withstood as the victim of such horrific encounters, starting when she was as young as five years old.
She felt compelled to speak up for women who have even less of a platform and voice to speak out against their abusers. Women who don’t have the light and fame that Hollywood provides. Because what’s being brought to light in Hollywood is just a microcosm of what exists and permeates everywhere.
She writes: “In my acknowledgment of common cause with the countless women coming forward in Hollywood and beyond, I thought about my mother, Joyce. Yeah, her too. I am the product of a 15-year-old girl and an older man she knew. It doesn’t matter how or why or when. It happened, and with both my mother and father dead, I’ll never know the specifics.”
A gut-wrenching thing to hear when you realize how ubiquitous these types of things are, and historically, have been. Byrant says that her mother hid her pregnancy for six months from her grandmother because she was ashamed. She also goes on to say that her father made her mother’s life “a living hell.”
This trauma completely shifted her mother’s life in a way that prevented her from having the childhood she should have or from being a mother because she didn’t know how. The trauma she experienced didn’t allow her to be nurturing and kind to Bryant, it didn’t allow her to be the mother Bryant needed so as a result, they had a tumultuous relationship for most of her life.
An honest and heartbreaking account of how sexual assault alters and changes victims.