It's not always easy to speak up about sexual assault. Not only does talking about being assaulted bring the whole experience back to the present for victims, but there's also the fact that shame can be attached to the incident — even though being assaulted is not the victim's fault under any circumstances.
But when a celebrity talks openly about being assaulted, it can help heal the wounds of others who have gone through similar incidents. Assault can happen to anyone, and it doesn't matter if you're famous or not. It's gut-wrenching and life-changing no matter who you are. Celebs who step up, however, put faces and names to sexual assault, which opens up the conversation.
Being famous isn't all rainbows and butterflies. Lady Gaga, Gabrielle Union, James Van Der Beek, Margaret Cho and more celebs are using their past traumas to help others.
A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.