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Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Surviving Rape And Talks Online Harassment In A Powerfully Penned Essay

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Ashley Judd has recently found herself in the spotlight after she made a harmless comment about Kentucky's Southeastern Conference championship basketball game on Twitter.

The remark that she has since deleted said Arkansas was "playing dirty & can kiss my team's free throw making a**."

However, after her social share, the actress received many gender-based threats, some of which are truly disgusting — and now, she's planning legal action.

[ Related: Ashley's Husband Dario Franchitti Retires From Racing Due To Injury! ]

In response to this online harassment, Ashley recently wrote an extremely well written op-ed piece where she detailed her threats, and put them in context of being a victim of sexual assault on more than one occasion.

Here's an excerpt on the recent verbal abuse, and her past trauma:

"Tweets rolled in, calling me a c*nt, a whore or a bitch, or telling me to suck a two-inch d*ck. Some even threatened rape, or 'anal anal anal. I deleted my original tweet after the game, before all hell broke loose, to make amends for any genuine offense I may have committed by describing play as 'dirty.' (Of course, other people, including my uncle who is a chaplain, also expressed fear that the athletes would be hurt badly.

But my uncle wasn't told he was a smelly pussy. He wasn't spared because of his profession; being a male sports fan is his immunity from abuse.). What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually."

She continued:

"I know this experience is universal, though I'll describe specifically what happened to me. I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my 'grandmother is creepy.'… I am a survivor of sexual assault, rape and incest. I am greatly blessed that in 2006, other thriving survivors introduced me to recovery. I seized it. My own willingness, partnered with a simple kit of tools, has empowered me to take the essential odyssey from undefended and vulnerable victim to empowered survivor. Today, nine years into my recovery, I can go farther and say my 'story' is not 'my story.' It is something a Higher Power (spirituality, for me, has been vital in this healing) uses to allow me the grace and privilege of helping others who are still hurting, and perhaps to offer a piece of education, awareness and action to our world.

The summer of 1984 was tough for me. I experienced two rapes by an adult and systematic molestation from another adult, who also had another man in the room watching (I now understand this was to ensure he had a witness, in order to undermine me in the event I tried to report the incident). I have done purgative, cathartic work on those particular acts of violence. The nature of recovering from trauma is that it can be ongoing, with deeper levels of healing and freedom coming with indefatigable persistence to keep chipping away at it."

What a bravely penned piece.

We're very upset that anyone would openly and publicly sexually threaten anyone.

[Image via Michael Carpenter/WENN.]

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