Lena Dunham gave an emotionally powerful speech at Variety’s Power Of Women NY and the video, which you can see here, has gone viral. The ‘Girls’ creator and star speaks with brazen candor about overcoming the assault she detailed in her memoir.

Lena Dunham

Photo: Lena Dunham
Credit: PR Photos

The 28-year-old Lena Dunham, creator of the hit HBO series, ‘Girls,’ is constantly in the news for her outspokenness. She took to the stage, true to form, at the gala event in New York City, Variety’s
Power of Women NY, and did not hold back. She was delivering an acceptance speech after the publication honored her for her work with GEMS — Girls Education and Mentoring Services — an nonprofit organization which helps girls and young women who have been sexually assaulted.

She said of her own sexual assault — years ago when she was a student at Oberlin College — which she wrote about in ‘Not That Kind of Girl,’ her bestselling memoir, that it left her feeling “powerless.” She went on to say, “I felt my value had been determined by someone else.”

She added, “Someone who sent me the message that my body was not my own and my choices were meaningless. It took years to recognize my worth was not tied to my assault, the voices telling me I deserved this were phantoms, they were liars.”

She continued, and added, “‘So as a feminist and sexual assault survivor, my ultimate goal is to use my experience, my platform and yes, my privilege, to reverse stigma and give voice to other survivors.”

And indeed, Lena Dunham has been in the midst of that very battle, as she has faced criticism and backlash for revealing details of her assault. She has spoken out on Twitter, in an op-ed in Buzzfeed, and now before a live audience, and ultimately, before untold numbers of YouTube viewers, she is speaking out yet again.

Others honored that same night included Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg, Rachel Weisz and Kim Kardashian West. You can watch the full replay of Lena Dunham’s speech at at Variety’s Power Of Women NY gala below.