Minnie Driver Said Women Are Often Belittled When They Speak Up After Being Assaulted

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Minne Driver.Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

Minnie Driver was a teenager traveling in Greece when she was punched and assaulted by a man after she refused to dance with him. The incident happened when she was just 17, but it left a lasting impression on Driver, who said she felt police wrote off the incident as being partly her fault for not dancing with the stranger. She recounted the experience on Sirius XM’s “StandUP! with Pete Dominick” after being asked about the prevalence of sexual assault against women.

“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,’” Driver said. “‘If you’d just danced with him, you wouldn’t be in this position that you’re in now.’” She added that, too often, young women write off such incidents because they’re taught, as a culture, “that unwanted male attention is something that [women] are supposed to put up with.” For instance, she said, a man can approach a woman and put his hand too far down the small of her back and it’s seen as being okay. “The idea that unwanted male attention is something that you are supposed to put up with because it is somehow your role … That you can be shepherded, herded, touched, mauled,” she said. “I think young women, they’ve been belittled when they’ve said something.”

Driver also said she doesn’t know of a single woman who has not been sexually assaulted in some shape or form. “Whether it’s being manhandled, whether it’s being pushed around, or whether it’s actual physical aggression or indeed being raped — I know way too many women.”