TikTok Star Loren Gray, 18, Opens Up About Being Sexually Assaulted at Age 12
"I had my innocence stolen from me in the basement of someone I trusted," Loren Gray said
TikTok star Loren Gray is opening up about being sexually assaulted when she was 12 years old.
Gray, who boasts over 42 million followers on TikTok, shared an emotional video on Saturday, in which she recounted her sexual assault incident and the emotional impact it had on her since.
"I want to tell you my real story," Gray, 18, began with a photo of her younger self. "This is me, over five years ago, not long before my 13th birthday. At this time, I had my innocence stolen from me in the basement of someone I trusted. I only told one person and to this day she remains my best friend. We cried in my bathroom together for hours."
The social media star continued, "I struggled to put the pieces together as to why this had happened to me. It took two months for me to finally tell my parents. I felt dirty, hopeless, broken and worthless. I was confused and scared. I felt like it was my fault."
"I was homeschooled and began making videos to pass the time and ease some of the loneliness and isolation I had felt. People were watching my videos and although I was still struggling, I felt like I had finally found people who cared, regardless of my situation," Gray continued. "Although, every now and then the comments and questions would be too much. 'She looks like a whore.' 'Are you a virgin?' "
"I was always afraid to tell people my story, fearing people would view me differently and I would lose those I cared about," she added. "I'm 18 now and I've realized that my past does not define me. It was never my fault and I never deserved it."
"I came out stronger and I'm so proud of myself," Gray said. "There is light at the end of the tunnel and if my story can help even ONE person, then to me it's a story worth telling."
In a follow-up post on Twitter, Gray apologized for "not being online much today," explaining, "It's been really difficult for me to share this part of my life in such a public way."
"I received a message that somehow someone knew," she wrote. "But I know how fast word travels and I wanted to be the one to tell my story."
However, Gray said she has been "overwhelmed by the amount of support and love that I have felt today."
"But it also breaks my heart how often this happens," she said. "I"m very lucky that I have such supportive friends and family, who never judged or placed blame. I'm very grateful."
"Although I was forced to grow up quickly and lost a part of me in the process, I wouldn't change anything about my life, every experience I've had has taught me something," Gray said. "Although I hate that I felt forced into sharing this prematurely, I have no regrets because I am no longer ashamed."
Gray said the sexual assault incident is "still hard" for her to talk about, which is why she wrote about the experience rather than discuss it in a video.
"I started making videos to cope with the feelings of isolating and loneliness," she explained. "My life truly changed when you all came into it. For the first time I had felt love, as if my past had been erased and no longer defined me. So when I say you give me purpose and helped me through the darkest times in my life, I meant it from the bottom of my heart."
Gray added, "I hope that this can shed some light on the gravity of sexual assault and provide some hope for anyone who can relate. Love you all so much. Thank you for listening."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.