Angela Bassett opened up about a harrowing childhood experience where she recalled being sexually assaulted by her mother's boyfriend at the time.
The "9-1-1" actress shared the story during the Rape Foundation’s Brunch on Sunday. Bassett, who was hosting the brunch, told The Hollywood Reporter that she remembers being fondled as a young girl while she was sleeping.
"Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete assault, it was fondling, but it was devastating enough for a child who’s 12 or 13," Bassett said. "And thankfully to have a mother who could tell as soon as light broke that this happened and for her to expel him…. That she heard me, believed me, and did something about it was so empowering for me as a young teen, as a young woman."
The Emmy-nominated actress shared that her mother's actions following the assault reassured her.
The actress, who shares teenager twin daughter, Bronwyn, and son, Slater, with her husband Courtney B. Vance, said they're raising their kids to know about consent. According to Variety, she began teaching her twins about boundaries when they were two years old.
"I started that early because of experiences with friends and I know that they will be in situations one day," Bassett said. "When a girl says no, both to him and to her, she means no. Back up. She has to say come here, kiss me."
Eric McCormack, who also co-hosted the brunch, shared how he speaks to his 17-year-old about sexual assault in case parents needed some advice.
"We have a 17-year-old and so the whole idea of consent over the last few years has been a conversation,” McCormack said. "But in terms of advice, I think the biggest thing I’d have to work on with everybody is self-esteem and being strong enough to say no, to call for help. Nobody has the right to abuse you."
If you need to talk to someone about sexual assault, please call the national sexual assault helpline at 1-800-656-4673.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Angela Bassett shares 'devastating' story about sexual assault