Writer, director, and actress Amber Tamblyn is known by many for her role as one-fourth of the beloved quartet of friends that makeup the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But today, she has bravely stepped into the spotlight for a far less friendly reason: sexual assault.
Tamblyn, a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter, took to Instagram this afternoon to share a horrifying account of being sexually assaulted by an ex-boyfriend. Tamblyn posted her story, shared in the wake of a leaked conversation that revealed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making offensive sexual comments about women, beneath a photo of Trump and Miss Universe 2012 winner Olivia Culpo. (In 2015, Culpo stepped down as a judge for Miss USA after Trump made comments referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers during the speech announcing his presidential campaign.)
"I need to tell you a story," Tamblyn begins her harrowing confession. "With the love and support of my husband, I've decided to share it publicly." She then goes on to detail how, while out at a show with friends one night, an abusive ex-boyfriend grabbed her in much the same way in which Trump joked with Billy Bush about back in 2005.
"He picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina — my pussy? — and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash," Tamblyn wrote.
While friends thankfully intervened on her behalf, the damage was already done: “That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend’s violence for at least the next week.”
While Tamblyn was understandably trepidatious about sharing her story so publically, she explained her motivation with her closing comments: "But you understand, don't you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight."
Tamblyn is not alone. After Trump's sexually aggressive comments became public record, author Kelly Oxford began encouraging women who've experienced sexual harassment or assault to voice their disagreement and share their own experiences using the hashtag #NotOkay. So far, as many as a million women have tweeted stories in response.
Read Tamblyn's, in its entirety, below.
I need to tell you a story. With the love and support of my husband, I've decided to share it publicly. A very long time ago I ended a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship with a man I had been with for some time. One night I was at a show with a couple girlfriends in Hollywood, listening to a DJ we all loved. I knew there was a chance my ex could show up, but I felt protected with my girls around me. Without going into all the of the details, I will tell you that my ex did show up, and came up to me in the crowd. He's a big guy, taller than me. The minute he saw me, he picked me up with one hand by my hair and with his other hand, he grabbed me under my skirt by my vagina— my pussy?— and lifted me up off the floor, literally, and carried me, like something he owned, like a piece of trash, out of the club. His fingers were practically inside of me, his other hand wrapped tightly around my hair. I screamed and kicked and cried. He carried me this way, suspended by his hands, all the way across the room, pushing past people until he got to the front door. My friends ran after him, trying to stop him. We got to the front door and I thank God his brothers were also there and intervened. In the scuffle he grabbed at my clothes, trying to hold onto me, screaming at me, and inadvertently ripped off my grandmother’s necklace, which I was wearing. The rest of this night is a blur I do not remember. How I got out to the car. How I got away from him that night. I never returned for my necklace either. That part of my body, which the current Presidential Nominee of the United States Donald Trump recently described as something he’d like to grab a woman by, was bruised from my ex-boyfriend's violence for at least the next week. I had a hard time wearing jeans. I couldn’t sleep without a pillow between my legs to create space. To this day I remember that moment. I remember the shame. I am afraid my mom will read this post. I'm even more afraid that my father could ever know this story. That it would break his heart. I couldn't take that. But you understand, don't you? I needed to tell a story. Enjoy the debates tonight.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).