Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley Reveals History of Sexual Assault
Pressley, 37, revealed her history of abuse during a discussion of an upcoming hearing on the occurrence of rape and sexual assault at the city's many colleges and universities.
"I am a survivor of sexual assault while a college student," Pressley said. "Mine is a truth shared by 17.7 million American women. And like 90 percent of rape survivors, I knew my attacker."
According to the source, Pressley hoped that her revelation would help personalize the issue of sexual assault this April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. She is currently serving her first term on Boston's city council and is expected to run for re-election this fall.
"This is a crime of silence. In general, it is a crime that is underreported because of the shame, because of the stigma," Pressley said. "But also because there isn't a belief that there will be consequences, especially on a college campus where there is often contact with the attacker."
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), approximately 248,300 women in the United States were victims of sexual assault in 2007, while one out of every six American women is expected to be a victim of sexual assault at some point during their lifetime.
Women who have suffered this kind of abuse can contact RAINN or the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress for information on how to thrive in the wake of sexual assault.