On Sunday, Angela Bassett attended the Rape Foundation’s annual brunch in Beverly Hills, supporting as its host. The event raises money for the Stuart House, a program of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA-Santa Monica’s Medical Center. The 61-year-old has visited the Rape Treatment Center and shared what she learned from being in the midst of survivors of sexual assault.
“I wish we didn’t live in a world where sexual assault existed,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s coverage of the event. “I wish they weren’t victims of such a heinous, life-altering crime. I wish we lived in a world where our children felt effortlessly protected, without any fear of someone violating or hurting them. But sadly that is not our reality. And with that, thank god for sanctuaries like the Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House.”
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Angela actually revealed that she too had been the victim of a heinous crime. She said that when she was a pre-teen, she woke up to find that the man her mother was dating at the time was fondling her while she slept. Unlike some victims of sexual assault though, when Angela’s mother found out, she took care of the situation and got rid of the guy. It’s unclear if that means she contacted police.
“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. “And thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him…. That she heard me, believed me, and did something about it was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman.”
The 9-1-1 actress said that she has made an effort to teach her own children, 13-year-old twins Bronwyn and Slater, the importance of understanding boundaries. She started doing so when they were just 2-year-old toddlers.
“I started that early because of experiences with friends and I know that they will be in situations one day,” she said, according to Variety. “When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no. Back up. She has to say come here, kiss me.”
This story was originally published on MadameNoire.com.