Padma Lakshmi: I was raped at 16

Popular model, actor and author, Padma Lakshmi opened up about her sexual assault experience. Writing in the New York Times, she said, “I have been turning that incident over in my head throughout the past week, as two women have come forward to detail accusations against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.”
 
She added, “On Friday, President Trump tweeted that if what Dr Blasey said was true, she would have filed a police report years ago. But I understand why both women would keep this information to themselves for so many years, without involving the police.”
 

 
In the piece, she said-
 
The next thing I remember is waking up to a very sharp stabbing pain like a knife blade between my legs. He was on top of me. I asked, “What are you doing?” He said, “It will only hurt for a while.” “Please don’t do this,” I screamed.
 
The pain was excruciating, and as he continued, my tears felt like fear.
 
Afterward, he said, “I thought it would hurt less if you were asleep.” Then he drove me home.
 
“We had no language in the 1980s for date rape. I imagined that adults would say: ‘What the hell were you doing in his apartment? Why were you dating someone so much older?'” she wrote.
 
She added, “I don’t think I classified it as rape – or even sex – in my head. I’d always thought that when I lost my virginity, it would be a big deal – or at least a conscious decision. The loss of control was disorienting.”
 
She stated, “The lesson was: If you speak up, you will be cast out,” she said. “These experiences have affected me and my ability to trust.”
 
Lakshmi wrote, “I think if I had at the time named what happened to me as rape – and told others – I might have suffered less. Looking back, I now think I let my rapist off the hook and I let my 16-year-old self down.”
 
Adding further, she said, “I have nothing to gain by talking about this. But we all have a lot to lose if we put a time limit on telling the truth about sexual assault and if we hold on to the codes of silence that for generations have allowed men to hurt women with impunity.”