British actress Minnie Driver has revealed she was sexually assaulted by a man at the age of 17. The Speechless actress says she was on holiday in Greece at the time and claims the police tried to blame her for the incident.
The 46-year-old recounted the sexual assault during an interview on New York-based Sirius XM's StandUp! With Pete Dominick. Driver told the radio host: "When I was 16, I was on vacation in Greece, and this guy, kinda elbow-grabbed me, and said: 'You're going to dance with me.' I said: 'No' and I pulled my arm away from him, and he grabbed me by the back of my hair. I tried to kick him, and then he punched me."
After correcting herself and confirming that she was actually 17-years-old, Driver detailed the authorities' reaction, explaining: "The way [the police] presented it was 'this guy was just having a good time and if you'd gone along with it, it would've been fine. If you'd just danced with him, you wouldn't be in this position that you're in now'."
The Good Will Hunting star believes that women would be more willing to come forward about being sexually assaulted if social attitudes change towards rape and other crimes of a sexual nature.
Driver said of the stigma surrounding women and sexual assault: "The times that you would sanction it, because you would believe when you're young, when you're 17, 18, you're going out, the idea that unwanted male attention is something that you are supposed to put up with.
"Because it is somehow your role that a guy can come and touch you, he can put his hand way too far down the small of your back so that his hand is kind of going into your butt and that that's all right. That you can be shepherded, herded, touched, mauled. I think young women, they've been belittled when they've said something."
Aside from her own ordeal, Driver is too familiar with other women in her life being victims of sexual assault. The actress says that she does not know a woman who "has not had one form of sexual assault at some point in their life". She continued: "Whether it's being manhandled, whether it's being pushed around, or whether it's actual physical aggression or indeed being raped – I know way too many women."