American actress Angela Bassett (61) recently shared her experience of being sexually violated at the age of 12 by her mother’s boyfriend.
Speaking at the Rape Foundation’s annual brunch in California in the US, Angela said because of that traumatic experience, she wanted her own children to understand boundaries and respect them. “You just want them to be aware. They’ll be in situations one day, and when a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no,” reports the New York Daily News.
When the actress was a preteen her mother’s boyfriend came into her room one night and started touching her breasts, the Black Panther star recalled. “Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13.
“And thankfully, to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him . . . That she heard me, believed me and did something about it was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
Her mother’s example is the reason she’s teaching her own children to be respectful to others. The actress has teen twins, Bronwyn and Slater, with husband Courtney B Vance, Essence reports.
“I wish we didn’t live in a world where sexual assault existed,” she said at the event, reports E! News. "I wish they weren’t victims of such a heinous, life-altering crime. I wish we lived in a world where our children felt effortlessly protected, without any fear of someone violating or hurting them. But sadly, that is not our reality. And with that, thank God for sanctuaries like The Rape Treatment Centre and Stuart House.”