Rosario Dawson has stood beside the victims of sexual assault and unwanted advances in the #MeToo Movement and shown her support for the Time’s Up initiative to end harassment in the workplace across industries. Earlier this month, for example, the actress vocalized her support for the Golden Globe Awards blackout, where actors and actresses sought to protest sexual misconduct in Hollywood by wearing black. She’s now revealing why the uprising against sexual harassers is so personal to her: She herself was a victim of sexual abuse.
The Rent star spoke to feminist podcast Morado Lens Jan. 17 about a harrowing experience she endured in her youth and how it colored her future perspective: “I was raped and molested as a child, so for me, the world was like that since I was a child,” she revealed to hosts Cindy Rodriguez and Nathalie Farfan. “So when I saw it in the workplace, it wasn’t foreign to me. It was like, well, that even happens within the family. It happens with people that are supposed to take care of you when you’re a child.”
The 38-year-old, who found her 26-year-old cousin Vaneza Ines Vasquez unresponsive in her Venice home last year, also opened up about how Vasquez’s unexpected death changed her outlook on life.
“When Vaneza died, it was like, oh my god, regardless of how well I’ve spent these years, I’ve already got 12 more years of life than Vaneza will ever have,” she explained. “And I think what it really did was give me back my gratitude.”
She added, “Whenever my moment comes, I wanna know that it’s been a good life. I don’t wanna be marinated in the upset ― because I have a lot of trauma and sadness to dwell on if I want to ― but there’s so much beauty and so many things to be grateful for. And I don’t want to waste my time not being dedicated to that.”
The actress, who has been confirmed to appear in a multi-episode story arc in season 4 of Jane the Virgin, stars in JAY-Z‘s star-studded “Family Feud” video, which dropped earlier this month.