April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Scream Queens actress marked it by sharing an Instagram that alluded to her own story of assault. The photo she shared was of a statement about consent, which reinforced that you are not obligated to have sex with someone even if you are in a romantic relationship with them. Breslin captioned the post, "I knew my assailant #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth #breakthesilence," making it the first time she has opened up publicly about her rape.
Shortly after her post went up, a Twitter troll lashed out at Breslin for not reporting her rape, stating that "only reported rapes count." The Dirty Dancing actress hit back in a new Instagram post, stating that there were multiple reasons for her not to report her rape, including fear of retaliation from her assailant. Now, in a continuation of that Instagram post, Breslin explained how she suffered trauma following her rape at the hands of a former romantic partner.
"I was diagnosed with PTSD a year and a half ago," Breslin revealed. "I have made a lot of progress since the event occurred, but I won't pretend it isn't something I struggle with. I still have flashbacks, I still get nightmares, I still jump when somebody touches me unexpectedly, even if it's my best friend tapping me on the shoulder."
"To say that reported rapes are the only rapes that count contributes to the ideology that survivors of unreported rape don't matter. It's unfair, untrue, and unhelpful. It's like if you got a black eye from getting punched in the face, but because you didn't call the police, you didn't really get a black eye. Unreported rapes count. Reported rapes count. End of story."
Breslin isn't the only celebrity to open up about suffering from PTSD after a sexual assault. Lady Gaga revealed in a Today show segment that she, too, suffered PTSD after being raped by a music producer.
No matter how one processes a traumatic event, or whether they choose to report it, denying a rape survivor's pain is never okay. In sharing her story, Breslin is giving survivors everywhere a voice.
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).