#BREAKFREE From Shame: Celebrity Quotes About Sexual Assault

To raise awareness of how desperately we need to change attitudes towards victim blaming, we rounded up the most powerful celebrity quotes about rape and violence against women.

Nobody woman should ever feel ashamed of experiencing sexual assault. Angry? Yes. Determined? Fine. In fact, whatever emotion works for you, works for us. Except for guilt. And except for shame.

Because no matter the circumstances. No matter whether you were wearing a short skirt or a long dress. No matter if you went into a shower with a stranger and agreed to do certain things. No matter if you’ve said yes before. No matter what happened – you’re not at fault. It’s not your fault. And there’s nothing to feel guilty about – or ashamed of.

Over the past five days, we’ve tried to highlight this with interviews with women who have experienced sexual assault. We’ve spoken to one woman, who reported her assault in London, but was told she ‘wasn’t pretty enough’ to have been raped – so nobody believed her. We spoke to Amber, who was so desperate to raise awareness of sexual assault, she live-blogged her rape on Instagram – and received relentless abuse as a result. We interviewed Lily*, who struggled to find the words to help when her flatmate was assaulted. We talked to Jodie, who managed to overcome her shame by stripping off, and learned to love her body again.

And we’re not the only ones campaigning for change. Celebrities far and wide know how important it is that we stop victim blaming, and start talking about the culture of violence against women which pervades across society. Because no matter how rich, famous, or successful you are, you’ll still know somebody who’s been affected by sexual violence. That’s a fact.

From Angelina Jolie to Reese Witherspoon, or Viola Davis and Lady Gaga, they’ve all got something to say.

If you’d like to share their comments, that’s fine by us. Simply save the images below, and Instagram / Tweet or Facebook them, along with the hashtag #BREAKFREE.

Reese Witherspoon: ‘There remains what seems like an impenetrable wall of silence around violence and we must all play a role in breaking this silence.’

Salma Hayek: No woman has to be a victim of physical abuse. Women have to feel like they are not alone.’
Angelina Jolie: ‘We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence – the shame is on the aggressor’

Lady Gaga: ‘I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead that did that to me.’

Viola Davis: ‘I wish I could tell my sister that she’s not dirty and that she should not feel any shame for something that she literally was not responsible for.’

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