Lena Dunham, creator and star of the popular HBO series Girls, was celebrated at Variety’s Power of Women event on Sunday for her work with Girls Educational Mentoring Service (GEMS), an organization based in New York to empower young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. In a speech that was both touching and bold, she admitted she was “not a perfect feminist” and decided to talk about her own experience as a rape survivor. Speaking out for young girls who fall victim to sex trafficking, she said, “We look at youth in the commercial sex industry in America as willing participants in their own victimization, ignoring the disenfranchisement that comes with being poor, from being a child, from being a girl of color, from being a homeless LGBT youth, from being a kid in foster care.” She courageously went on to talk about her own experience as a sexual assault survivor, saying, “As a feminist and sexual assault survivor, my ultimate goal is to use my experience, my platform and yes, my privilege, to reverse stigma and give voice to other survivors.” She had previously written about the attack in her book Not That Kind of Girl, explaining how powerless the experience made her feel and how it took her years to come to terms with it.
Listen to her powerful remarks here.
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