Minnie Driver Was Punched for Turning Down a Man’s Advances
According to the actress, she was attacked as a teenager after she had turned down a man’s advances. Speaking with Sirius XM’s StandUP! with Pete Dominick, Driver recalls the assault and the victim-shaming that followed.
“I was on vacation in Greece, and this guy, kinda elbow-grabbed me, and said ‘You’re going to dance with me,'” she remembers. “I said ‘no’ and I pulled my arm away from him, and he grabbed me by the back of my hair. I tried to kick him, and then he punched me.”
Driver, who was only 17 at the time, says she felt the authorities blamed her for the attack when her assailant was arrested. Given how she was treated, Driver believes that is why so many women refuse to report sexual assault.
“The way [the police] presented it was ‘this guy was just having a good time and if you’d gone along with it, it would’ve been fine,'” she recalls. “‘If you’d just danced with him, you wouldn’t be in this position that you’re in now.’”
“The times that you would sanction it, because you would believe when you’re young, when you’re 17, 18, you’re going out, the idea that unwanted male attention is something that you are supposed to put up with because it is somehow your role that a guy can come and touch you, he can put his hand way too far down the small of your back so that his hand is kind of going into your butt and that that’s alright,” she explains. “That you can be shepherded, herded, touched, mauled. I think young women, they’ve been belittled when they’ve said something.”
“I think that is the way it’s frame for young women,” the Speechless star continues. “I don’t know a woman who has not had some form of sexual assault at some point in their life — whether it’s being manhandled, whether it’s being pushed around, or whether it’s actual physical aggression or indeed being raped. I mean, I know way, way too many women.”