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Silent No More: These Hollywood Starlets Speak on Overcoming Sexual Assault

In recent news, 310 women have bravely come forward to accuse filmmaker James Toback of sexual assault; among them are Rachel McAdams and Selma Blair. Two days after L.A. Times published an investigation which 38 women accused the writer/ director, that number increased rapidly as more woman gained the confidence to reveal their alleged experiences with Toback. Several women contacted officials to file official reports against Toback.

Courtesy: Los Angeles Times

According to the L.A. Times, the director had developed strategies to impress women he wanted, including flaunting his success as a Hollywood filmmaker. Women who recount the terrors of being with Toback say that they would meet in parks or at auditions and the situation would quickly turn sexual. The women claim he would ask them questions about their sex lives such as, “How often do you masturbate?”

The women then reported that he would try to dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, finishing on their un-receiving bodies. Toback denies these allegations and claims that it would be impossible for him to do those things the women described due to a heart condition. Shocking to some is the pure volume of women that have come forth with allegations of sexual assault since Harvey Weinstein was recently accused by some of Hollywood’s most daring stars, such as Cara Delevingne, among others.

However, to most women, this comes as no surprise. Men who hold high positions in society can often get away with things like sexual assault, as many women are hesitant to file charges for fear of being ostracized and accused of lying. Men like Weinstein and Toback have preconceived power, lawyers and people who can vouch for their “credibility.” And in the society in which we create, one where women are seldom believed or trusted, it can often do more harm for a woman to speak out than to stay silent.

Courtesy: FOX News

If you’re looking for a light at the end of the tunnel in this tragedy, stay tuned. In the meantime, admire the courage of every woman who came forward, especially of the women who first spoke up. While it’s sad that it takes more than one woman’s testimony to be believed, it’s important to recognize that it only takes one woman to breed courage in hundreds of others.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you may seek help through the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 (HOPE). For more resources, visit RAINN, End Sexual Assault, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, End Rape on Campus, and Know Your IX. For local Florida State University resources, visit the Victim Advocate Program that is open 24 hours daily; daytime phone, 850-644-7161 and the nights, weekend, and holidays phone, 850-644-1234 (ask to speak to an advocate).   

Second year student at Florida State University, Creative Writing major, poetry and people is my passion.
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