WOMEN
01/20/2017 04:50 pm ET Updated Jan 20, 2017

Ashley Judd Explains Why Trump Triggers So Many Sexual Assault Survivors

She shared her personal story as a survivor of rape and incest.

Just hours after President Donald Trump was sworn in, actor and activist Ashley Judd ― a three-time rape survivor ― sat in a crowded room at the Press Club building in Washington D.C. and gave voice to thousands of women across the country who have been triggered by Trump’s rise. 

“It remains for me the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my lifetime,” Judd said in a conversation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) at Watch Us Run, HuffPost Women’s inauguration day event.

“Raped as a child, bad,” Judd said. “Re-raped by a political system that ordains a clown, really bad.”

In a moving, at times tearful exchange, Judd ― who was wearing a knit pussy cap ― described how she has grappled with family members, particularly male family members, who voted for Trump. 

“I’m a rape survivor and a survivor of incest and I lived alone for two years as a child in two different states,” Judd told the rapt audience.

“The fact that there were adult men in my family who failed to protect me as a child [and] voted for him was really re-traumatizing,” she said. 

Judd said deciding how to navigate family relationships is going to be a challenge in years to come under the Trump administration. For now, Judd said, she is trying to be strong and yet give herself permission to be vulnerable at the same time.

“It’s not OK,” Judd said. “For me, it’s not about the wall, it’s not about any of that stuff. It’s about, you voted for a pussy grabber. You voted for someone who calls his wife a piece of ass, whose daughter is his favorite sex symbol. It really boils down, to me, to the sexual assault and misogyny piece.”

Want more content from Watch Us Run, an inauguration day event presented by HuffPost and Bustle in partnership with Bold? Read Michael Moore’s blueprint for resisting Trump here and learn more about how to run for office here 

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