The cast of Girls have teamed up to release a powerful statement about sexual assault, dedicated to the Stanford rape survivor, whose powerful letter to her attacker went viral when it was published in full earlier this week.
In a video for NowThis, Lena Dunham is joined by her co-stars Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke and Zosia Mamet to call out our 'default reaction as a society to disbelieve, or to silence, or to shame' survivors of sexual assault.
Writer and actress Dunham shared the video to her Twitter account in a post that has already been retweeted over 12,000 times, captioned 'I dedicate this to the brave survivor in the Stanford case who has given so much to change the conversation.'
The clip starts with Kirke, who plays Jessa on the HBO show, explaining that 'We may star on Girls together. but that doesn't mean we always agree. But there is one issue on which we are in total agreement.'
That issue is the need to support survivors of sexual assault. As noted in the video, the Centre for Disease Control reports that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her life time, with 80% of those attacks perpetrated by someone the victim knows. It's a pretty harrowing statistic, and one that starkly highlights the need to stand in solidarity with survivors.
'What if we chose to turn toward those in need, instead of away?' asks Zosia Mamet, before her castmates point out the many ways in which you can support those affected: a phone call, offering a lift to medical care or counselling, or simply listening.
The group also remind us that we should help victims 'not because she's someone's daughter, or someone's friend, or someone's sister, but because she is someone.'
'You already have the power to create a safer, healthier environment for women to come forward,' Williams concludes. 'So please support, listen, take action.'