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During a powerful conversation with Oprah Winfrey on SuperSoul Conversations, Amy Schumer opened up about her experiences with sexual assault. The incident, which Schumer explained she referred to as "gray-area rape" in her standup routine, was what most people would call intimate partner rape. The alleged perpetrator was Schumer's boyfriend at the time.
"I lost my virginity while I was asleep," she revealed in the interview, according to People (opens in new tab). "So, in my stand-up, I used to talk about—I called it, 'gray-area rape,' which was my way of bringing this up in my stand-up…trying to make people laugh while they learned. When we hear about rape when we’re children, it’s about a guy popping out from a bush and this villain. They don’t say it’s probably going to be a guy who you know very well. It could be your husband, your friend. You think when that happens to you, you say, ‘Okay, well this isn’t someone I want to see rotting in a jail cell but what he did to me was wrong and I didn’t consent.'"
Schumer then recounted the conflicting feelings she had following the incident and feeling the need to comfort her then-boyfriend afterwards.
"I didn’t say anything [about consenting]. He was my boyfriend, I loved him, I had to comfort him,” Schumer said. "I also felt really angry which…it was just a feeling I had, I felt really angry with him. It’s a rage that’s stayed with me. I don’t think you lose that. As women, we’re trained not to get angry because that makes people dismiss you right away. But I felt—I wanted to comfort him and try to push my anger down."
While Schumer added that her then-boyfriend insisted after that he thought she knew they were going to have sex, she also described startling incidents of physical and emotional abuse that many women can relate to.
“I got hurt by accident a lot. He didn’t realize how hard he’d grabbed me or shook me or pushed me, and I would fall and hit something then I’d be hurt. I can picture being thrown on the hood of a car like it was an hour ago," she said. "And running from him, carrying my shoes and running from him, running into backyards trying to get away from him because I was afraid for my life. It’s so out of body. You think, ‘I’m not this woman, who is this woman? This can’t be me.’ I’m not that kind of woman, and then you realize there is no kind of woman. It happens to all woman."
Watch the entire powerful segment below:
Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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