While we are inspired by the bravery of all sexual abuse survivors who are speaking out, we continue to be shocked by the full extent of the scale of the epidemic of sexual violence against women.
As the #MeToo movement continues to empower survivors to break their silence, the latest celebrity to share their story of resilience in the face of sexual violence is Tiffany Haddish.
In an interview with GLAMOUR US, the comedian and actress has spoken out her own experience of sexual violence, revealing that she was raped by a police cadet when she was 17. Speaking out about the experience, she described the long-term effects of the attack and how it has shaped her life.
“That whole experience put me in such a messed-up place for a long time, and I ended up going to counselling,” she revealed.
Though she says that she reported the incident at the time, justice was never served and Haddish reveals that even now, she is still thinking about what form justice should take.
“Me just yelling out people’s names with no thought behind it is pointless. I need a plan,” she says. “I could be a voice, but what’s a voice going to do – just keep talking? Or is there action behind it?” she says.
Explaining the powerful effect that this attack had to her psyche, she adds that in response to the attack, she has developed a ‘semi-aggressive’ demeanor as a defence mechanism against further violence..
While the violent attack may have had a long-standing effect on her psyche, Tiffany has reclaimed her power through her natural affinity with comedy.
Since her childhood, Tiffany has adopted an iconic Who Framed Roger Rabbit quote as her life mantra, “A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Sometimes it’s the only weapon we have in life.” Tiffany has used her comedy to empower herself and others, serving as a role model for underprivileged young people and youths in the foster care styles.
Entering the foster care system with her siblings as a child, at 15 Tiffany was introduced to comedy when a social worker gave her the opportunity to attend the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp and the rest, as they say, is history. She shot to fame in 2017 after landing a major role in hit comedy Girls Trip. Since then, Haddish has gone on to make appearances on Jimmy Kimmel and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, cooked collard greens with Oprah, hosted the MTV Movie TV Awards, and she shows no signs of slowing down.