Ashley Judd shared a letter with sexual-assault survivors during a Time’s Up panel at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday, declaring that “healing is our birthright” and “We can heal. That has been my experience.” Her discussion was with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
“We may not know, admittedly, how to or even from what we need to heal. It may be the event itself or vivid or dull memories of it, and it is entirely plausible that we don’t even remember the event,” Judd says. She was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment last fall.
“Healing is our birthright,” she continued. “It was not our birthright to be sexually harassed or assaulted or raped based on social constructs of gender, biology, sex, identity, orientation, ethnicity, race, ability, or any intersection thereof. It is our birthright to know in our bones that it wasn’t our fault. We humans hurt each other and sometimes we hurt ourselves, but we can make decisions and take actions that free us.”
“This is not fair. Let’s be plain,” Judd said. “It isn’t right or fair that one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually assaulted, by conservative estimates, by the age of 18 — amongst other catastrophic statistics. But, and this is everything, my friends, when we become aware of our pain and have some education about it, we become responsible for addressing our pain in effective and healthy ways.”
“You are not alone. I believe you, and it wasn’t your fault,” she said at the end of her letter. “The facts do remain the facts, but we know our preciousness and our fierceness. Healing, damn it, is our birthright.”