Bella Thorne is the latest celebrity to open up about being the survivor of sexual violence. She tweeted the information after a Twitter troll posted a particularly cruel comment in response to a photo Thorne posted on December 7.
"I would fuck this suit if I could," she captioned the post.
"What did Disney do to this girl?! I think she was molested," a Twitter user replied the next day. Thorne's heartbreaking response was short and to the point: "Yeah I was. So it wasn't Disney," she wrote, adding several minutes later that "The world can be a sick place sometimes."
Thorne's fans responded to her tweet with comments of support, and she expressed her gratitude.
Many of the women and men who have recently come forward to share their stories of sexual assault have provided more details than Thorne, and her tweet is an important reminder that survivors don't "owe" the world their entire gory, painful story. For some survivors, it's cathartic and empowering — but that's not the case for everyone, and that's more than OK. When someone says "Me Too," it's up to them how much they want to share, whether they're a good friend or a celebrity.
"I wish women didn’t have to rip our pasts open and show you everything and let you ogle our pain for you to believe us about predation and trauma," Lindy West wrote last year. In the era of "Me Too," her words ring truer than ever.
If Thorne ever feels compelled to speak out about her past, I certainly hope people will listen to and support her. But if sharing her story starts and ends with this tweet, it doesn't make her experience any less important than the women and men who have shared many details about their experiences. We are all entitled to speak up and heal in our own way.
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).