Lena Dunham Pens Passionate Essay About Sexual Assault After Story in Her Memoir Is Called Into Question

Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham wrote an essay defending her decision to include a story about being sexually assaulted in her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl. Mike Marsland/WireImage

Lena Dunham is ready to set the record straight. The noted actress and author, 28, wrote an impassioned essay for BuzzFeed titled, “Lena Dunham: Why I Chose To Speak Out,” about her decision to include a story about being sexually assaulted in college in her memoir Not That Kind of Girl

Since the book was released in September, Dunham’s stories have been called into question by bloggers and journalists looking to expose any falsehoods in her tales. The Girls creator and star has been particularly offended by those looking to debunk her story of being sexually assaulted in college by a man she calls “Barry” (a name which she has since revealed to be a pseudonym). 

“I hoped beyond hope that the sensitive nature of the event would be honored, and that no one would attempt to reopen these wounds or deepen my trauma,” Dunham wrote in her BuzzFeed essay. “But this did not prove to be the case. I have had my character and credibility questioned at every turn. I have been attacked online with violent and misogynistic language. Reporters have attempted to uncover the identity of my attacker despite my sincerest attempts to protect this information.” 

Dunham claims is at a good place in her life now and has no plans to press charges against the man who allegedly attacked her. Her main concern lies with how she and other female victims of rape and assault have been made to feel responsible for the attacks in the wake of their admissions. 

“I don’t believe I am to blame,” she continued. “I don’t believe any of us who have been raped and/or assaulted are to blame. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what is written about me individually. I accept the realities of being in the public eye. But I simply cannot allow my story to be used to cast doubt on other women who have been sexually assaulted.”

She ended her piece by offering advice to those looking to assist victims, writing, “You can help by never defining a survivor by what has been taken from her. You can help by saying I believe you.”

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