In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein mess, many women have been coming forward to share their stories with sexual assault.
Lili wasn't harassed by a producer, but a male co-star.
Opening up on Tumblr, she began:
“I was a teenager working on a project.. when I started to have a crush on a guy I was working with. He was incredibly charming and charismatic — we flirted for a while before we went on our first date. He was pretty significantly older than me, but I thought of myself as mature so it didn’t seem like a big deal. I’m not comfortable giving specific details about the situation because I don’t feel it’s necessary. All that matters is that he tried to force himself on me when we were on a date.”
She continued to say:
“I had to stop him and say, ‘No, I don’t want that,’ and, ‘I can’t do that'” before she had to walk away and was left “feeling completely violated and uncomfortable.
She also had to get into his car because she “didn’t have any money and couldn’t afford a taxi or an Uber” and thought he was going to drive her home, but quickly “realised he was trying to take [her] back to his apartment.”
She continued, “I knew if I made it there, something bad was going to happen to me. I told him to drop me off at my home, that I didn’t want to go back to his place. He said some snarky comment but reluctantly brought me to where I was staying.”
The next day, she confronted him, only to be victim-shamed.
“This guy proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for leading him on,” she said. “Saying that ‘I seemed like a sexual girl and that I’d be down for it.’ That I misled him. Days following, he grew angry at the situation and became defensive about it and his actions. Claiming that I was ‘a tease’ and ‘the most manipulative woman he’d ever met.’ His ego was bruised to say the least, because I refused to engage with him sexually that night. He refused to talk to me. I remember begging him to come outside his trailer so we could talk. I needed clarity on the situation. I felt like I had genuinely done something wrong — that maybe I really was being a tease to him and led him to believe that I wanted to be with him sexually.”
She went on to explain that she felt like she couldn't speak up about the incident because she didn't think anybody would believe her. Also, she was afraid that it would ruin her career.
She finished her brave post by talking directly to Harvey Weinstein's victims:
“I stand with them. I believe them. I believe in standing up for yourself as a woman and coming forward about sexual harassment. I’m coming forward about my own experience to further express how common these assaults are in this industry and how important it is that we take action to fight against it.”
If you, or someone you know, has experienced sexual harassment in any way, speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day:
Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Lifeline on 13 11 14.