Angela Bassett was one of the hosts of the Rape Foundation’s annual brunch on Sunday, and on the red carpet before it started she talked about being molested by her mother’s former boyfriend as a child.
She also praised her mother for taking swift action when she learned of the assault, and Bassett said that feeling of protection and being believed was an important message for her to receive as a young person.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13,” the actress stated.
“And thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him, that she heard me, believed me and did something about it, I think was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman,” she added.
Bassett has been married to her actor husband Courtney B. Vance for 22 years, and they have 13-year-old twins, a girl named Bronwyn Vance and a boy named Slater Vance.
And the “9-1-1” star said she started talking about personal boundaries with her kids some time ago, because she knows it’s something they’ll have to deal with in the future.
“I started that early because of experiences with friends, and I know that they will be in situations one day,” Bassett explained. “When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no.”
And inside the event, the 61-year-old talked about the importance of places like the Rape Treatment Center, which is located in Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital in Southern California.
“I wish we didn’t live in a world where sexual assault existed,” said Bassett. “I wish they weren’t victims of such a heinous, life-altering crime. I wish we lived in a world where our children felt effortlessly protected, without any fear of someone violating or hurting them.”
“But sadly that is not our reality. And with that, thank God for sanctuaries like The Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House,” she added.