Minnie Driver doesn’t know a woman who hasn’t experienced some form of sexual assault in their life. The “Good Will Hunting” actress is unfortunately speaking from personal experience, publicly recounting a teenage sexual assault for the first time on Sirius XM’s “StandUP! with Pete Dominick” Tuesday.
“When I was 16, I was on vacation in Greece, and this guy came and kinda elbow-grabbed me, and said ‘You’re going to dance with me,’” Driver said. “I said no and I pulled my arm away from him, and he grabbed me by the back of my hair. I tried to kick him, and then he punched me.”
Driver apparently reported the incident to the police, but like far too many cases of this ilk, the authorities were quick to blame the victim, instead of holding the man responsible. She also later clarified that she was 17 at the time of the incident.
“The way [the police] presented it was ‘this guy was just having a good time and if you’d gone along with it, it would’ve been fine,’” she continued. “‘If you’d just danced with him, you wouldn’t be in this position that you’re in now.’ And I think that is the way it’s framed for most young women.”
This kind of reaction is why more young women, who are four times more likely to be victims of sexual assault, rape or attempted rape don’t report crimes of a sexual nature. In fact, 63% of sexual assaults go unreported to the police, according to National Sexual Violence Research Center.
“The times that you would sanction it, because you would believe when you’re young, when you’re 17, 18, you’re going out, the idea that unwanted male attention is something that you are supposed to put up with because it is somehow your role that a guy can come and touch you, he can put his hand way too far down the small of your back so that his hand is kind of going into your butt and that that’s all right,” Driver said. “That you can be shepherded, herded, touched, mauled. I think young women, they’ve been belittled when they’ve said something.”
Listen to a clip from the interview below:
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.