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Lena Dunham discusses sexual assault in powerful speech on feminism

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Richard Shotwell/AP

Speaking at the Variety’s Power of Women New York luncheon on Friday, Girls star Lena Dunham discussed her sexual assault in a speech that touched on feminism and the power of language. 

“When I was raped, I felt powerless,” Dunham said about the assault, which took place when she was in college. “I felt my value had been determined by someone else. Someone who sent me the message that my body was not my own, and my choices were meaningless. It took years to recognize my personal worth was not tied to my assault. The voices telling me I deserved this were phantoms. They were liars. So as a feminist and a sexual assault survivor, my ultimate goal is to use my experience, my platform and, yes, my privilege, to reverse stigma and give voice to other survivors.”

Dunham went on to promote GEMS, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, “the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.” More on the organization can be found here. Watch Dunham’s speech below.

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