Thandie Newton Uses Her Own Sexual Abuse Story To Educate Her Daughters On Sex-Ed

Photo: Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock.
As Maeve on Westworld, Thandie Newton stands up to her creators (two men) to rewrite her own narrative in life — to make her voice heard. Sick of being a pawn in the sinful story she was given, and motivated by her wits and pain, she disrupts her surroundings.

In real life, Newton continues to do just that — disrupt. She isn't afraid to be brutally honest, and share raw facts to get her point across. Not even to her teenage daughters, Ripley, 16, and Nico, 12.

While speaking with The Edit, Newton explains how she used her own stories of sexual abuse to teach her daughters about relationships, sexism, and misogyny. This isn't the first time she has spoken on the matter either. In fact, she wants to talk about more and more. "I talk about misogyny endlessly, because it’s part of everything," she told the magazine.

Newton, who also has a son, two, with her husband, director Ol Parker, revealed just how open she was with her daughters about her sexual abuse. "I told them that the first time I ever had any sexual encounter, it was abuse. Eventually, my 12-year-old stopped me and said, 'Mum, don't worry. I am way cooler than you were at my age,'" Newton explained.

While she obviously appreciates the humor in her daughter's response, it is inspiring to see Newton so confidently and clearly stand against the misogynistic men she has interacted with in Hollywood, an industry she entered around the same age as her daughters are.

"I have learned that in organizations where young people are unsupervised, there is more infrastructure to protect perpetrators of abuse than there is to protect the children" she said. "And I have been through so many of those institutions, whether schools or film sets. Yes, it is terrifying, but it’s more terrifying when we don’t speak about it."

In the interview, she also expressed interest in contributing to a blog, Everyday Sexism, which features stories of real people's experiences with sexist. She's too busy to write for them, she said, but instead uses opportunities like these interviews to speak on the matter. And we're glad she does.

If you have experienced sexual abuse and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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