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Abigail Breslin Opened Up About Sexual Assault

Find out what Abigail Breslin said on Instagram about sexual assault in a Sexual Assault Awareness Month post.


By Brittney McNamara, Teen Vogue

On television and in movies, sexual assault is often shown as something done by a stranger. We've all seen the fictional stranger lurking in a dark alleyway. In reality, that's not how sexual assault usually goes. Yes, it does happen, but statistics show that most people actually know their attacker. But no matter what kind of relationship you might have had with your attacker, whether you were just friends or you had consented to sex with that person before, that does not give that person the right to pursue sex with you if at any point you say no. In an Instagram post in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Abigail Breslin made that point loud and clear.

[post_ads]Abigail posted on Instagram for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which runs through April, a short paragraph about consent in relationships. The post defines what consent means in any kind of relationship, saying that you are never obligated to have sex with anyone — even if you're dating them or married to them. Abigail captioned the post "I knew my assailant."

"You are not obligated to have sex with someone that you're in a relationship with. Dating is not consent. Marriage is not consent," the post says.

A post shared by Abigail Breslin (@abbienormal9) on

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 14 to 25% of women will be sexually assaulted by an intimate partner. Being raped by a partner is also more likely to cause physical injury, according to NCADV. Women who are raped by their spouse are even less likely than other women to report their assault, perhaps in part because NCADV notes most Americans don't think marital rape is really rape. But Abigail's post is true. Just because you have a relationship with someone, even if it's marriage, they do not have the right to have sex with you whenever they want. Even if you have had sex with that person before, saying yes to sex once does not mean you've given consent for other times. Each time you are approached by a partner for sex, you have every right to set new or different boundaries, or turn them down. You are, in fact, not obligated to have sex with someone you are in a relationship with.
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Abigail's post shows that intimate partner rape is common, and the comments on the post really highlight that. The comments also reveal exactly how people perceive intimate partner rape.

"My rapist was my fiancé at the time, but everyone family included said it doesn't count because we are engaged," one commenter wrote. "Said I'm supposed to give him what he wants."

"My boyfriend in high school sexually abused me for a year. I was 17. I'm now 24 and I'm just now realizing what he did to me was abuse," another said.

Because it's something so many people have experienced, Abigail's post is a reminder that a relationship is not consent, and if someone violates that, you are not alone, and it is not your fault.
   
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Lifestyle Magazine: Abigail Breslin Opened Up About Sexual Assault
Abigail Breslin Opened Up About Sexual Assault
Find out what Abigail Breslin said on Instagram about sexual assault in a Sexual Assault Awareness Month post.
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