Entertainment Amandla Stenberg Opens Up About Her Own Sexual Assault in Powerful Op-Ed Published 2 months ago on October 6, 2018 By Liz Orhent Share Tweet After an emotional wrenching week in the wake of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Senator Susan Collins’s last-minute decision to support his nomination to the Supreme Court, many women across America have been grappling with their own experiences as sexual assault survivors—and, in many cases, the fear or shame that kept their stories in the shadows. But even as Dr. Ford was dismissed by Republicans, her voice has inspired a wave of women to speak out—including actress and activist Amandla Stenberg. In a powerful op-ed for Teen Vogue, the 19 year old star of The Hate U Give details two sexual assaults that she said she has experienced. The first was when she was younger—a sexual encounter turned forceful and that she felt stripped her of her agency. “I felt I only had two options: I could A) voice my discomfort and protest, probably to be met with further force and/or male disapproval or B) convince myself that this was something I wanted. I chose the latter out of self preservation and to placate male desire. I had not consented, but I had not said no.” The second was a consensual sexual experience that also turned forceful with someone she and her peers knew. While initially consensual, Stenberg says she protested what was happening and was “silenced verbally and physically.” After the encounter, Stenberg woke up to a text message telling her to go find Plan B. Stenberg said she was inspired by Dr. Ford’s testimony to come forward with her story of assault and to parse her own brief trauma. She’s long been open about her life when talking about working as a young woman in Hollywood, issues of racism, and most recently coming out as gay. In her interview with Teen Vogue, Stenberg also touches on some important lessons about assault—ones that all would benefit from remembering. She mentions that she doesn’t have a single friend who isn’t a straight heterosexual cisgender man who hasn’t experienced assault in some form. Perhaps most important, as inspired by Dr. Ford, she urges survivors to speak out—to talk with friends and resources, to treat themselves with kindness, and above all else to know that assault is not normal and is not their fault. And while Dr. Ford’s bravery has got us all here, Stenberg’s just further proves that the kids are definitely going to be alright. “Assault can look like many different things,” she explained. “Consent is continual. You are not dirty. You are not stupid. You are not weak for needing help. You are not defined by this. You are not alone. You are loved.” Get Vanity Fair’s Cocktail Hour Our essential brief on culture, the news, and more. And it’s on the house. Credit:Vanity Fair Share this:Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window) Related Related Topics:StyleStyle / Celebrity Up Next Ryan Lochte Was in Car Crash Before Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Addiction Don't Miss The Sobering Reality of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Continue Reading You may like Velvet Is the Fabric of Your Holiday-Season Dreams Delta Cracks Down on Emotional-Support Animals, Even the Very Good Ones Cardi B Takes the Stage at Jingle Ball, Her First Performance Since Announcing Her Split from Offset Follow Us On Flipboard Magazine. 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