America Ferrera claims in an Instagram post that a grown man sexually assaulted her at the age of nine.
“First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9-years-old,” the actress, who is best known for her role in Ugly Betty, wrote on Instagram. “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.”
“I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come,” she continued. “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.”
The post was a participation in the #MeToo campaign started by fellow actress Alyssa Milano, in which women have been encouraged to speak about their experiences of sexual assault following the claims surrounding the disgraced movie executive Harvey Weinstein and other high power figures in Hollywood.
“Ladies, let’s break the silence so the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bullshit,” she concluded.
Other women using the hashtag #MeToo to reveal their experience of sexual harassment include Debra Messing, Anna Paquin, Patricia Arquette, Evan Rachel Wood, Rosario Dawson, Natasha Lyonne, Tatiana Maslany, Jenny Slate, Lady Gaga, and Gabrielle Union. According to Twitter, the hashtag has been used over half-a-million times in under 24 hours.
Since the allegations against Weinstein emerged, at least five women have accused Weinstein of rape, while over 30 women have claimed to be victims of sexual harassment, including actresses such as Reese Witherspoon, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rose McGowan.