Pamela Anderson admitted to being a survivor of sexual abuse in a speech introducing her animal rights organization over the weekend, and her bravery in speaking up should be praised. Her speech, which is posted on her personal blog, as well, sheds light on the horrifying sexual abuse she suffered as a child, and I'm not only applauding Pamela Anderson for coming forth about her wrenching past, but I am touched and in awe that she did so in such a personal way.
To stand up in front of a crowd and admit to having a past that was marred by sexual abuse is so hard for victims, and Anderson's extremely personal account makes me want to give her a standing ovation; as any victim knows, revealing your past opens you up to a whole, ugly world of victim-blaming. But Anderson's truth stands strong. Her account of repeated sexual abuse is extremely vulnerable, personal, and lonely, but it has a triumphant end — despite being the victim of repeated abuse from babysitters, boyfriends, and strangers, and dealing with feelings of worthlessness and suicide, she was able to find purpose and comfort in helping animals.
Because Anderson's speech and blog account of her abuse is in first person, it's an assertion of bravery that should give others strength. She is not releasing formal public statements — she is speaking directly to the world in her voice, and that sort of vulnerability should be commended. By standing tall and engaging with the public in such a personal and raw way, it will hopefully give a voice to those who feel like they cannot speak up, or who feel trapped in the same hellish nightmare that Anderson once did.
Anderson is not hiding behind anything — she is boldly saying, "Welcome to the next chapter of my life," and inviting responses to her speech and her blog entry. She could have hidden for so much longer, but I'm so, so glad she didn't.