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The ‘Girls’ Cast Released A Powerful Video Supporting Sexual Assault Survivors

The ‘Girls’ Cast Released A Powerful Video Supporting Sexual Assault Survivors

The cast of the HBO show Girls—Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, and Zosia Mamet—recently came together for a very important reason: To raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault in the U.S. and to urge people to create a society of support for survivors.

The Girls co-stars created a short video with NowThis, spelling out the issue and how we can make a change for the better. Standing barefoot in a studio, they deliver a powerful message. First, they point out how large of an issue sexual assault is in our country. They share how, according to the CDC, one in five women will be sexually assaulted during her lifetime. And for 80 percent of those cases, the attacks will happen between two people who already know each other. “This isn’t a secret,” Dunham says. Then, Mamet points out another problem: “So why is our default reaction as a society to disbelieve?” “Or to silence? Or to shame?” Her co-stars add. “What if we chose to turn towards those in need, instead of away?” The Girls then suggest ways to aid a survivor: “It can be something as easy as a phone call,” Williams says. Other ways to help: Calling out a hurtful remark or offering someone a ride to medical care or counseling. “It can even be simply listening,” Dunham adds. “Just being there makes it better.” The video ends powerfully, with the co-stars saying why we need to create a safe environment for women to come forward about sexual assault: “Support, listen, take action. Not because she is someone’s daughter, or someone’s girlfriend, or someone’s sister. But because she is someone,” they say together.

Dunham tweeted the video yesterday, writing, “I dedicate this to the brave survivor in the Stanford case who has given so much to change the conversation.” She’s referring to the groundbreaking letter a survivor shared with BuzzFeed last week, which the survivor read in court in front of the 20-year-old charged with assaulting her. In the letter, the survivor details the incident and how her life was destroyed by the perpetrator’s actions. Her powerful letter has been viewed more than 4 million times.

By using their celebrity status to draw attention to sexual assault, Dunham and the rest of the Girls cast can help keep the issue in the national conversation, as it should be. There’s so much work to be done to make the world a safer space for survivors and to help stop sexual assault. You can watch their full video below: 

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Photo Credit: NowThis/YouTube