THE Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira witnessed an ‘outrageous’ sexual assault when she was nine where the victim was blamed for wearing a short skirt.
The 42-year-old actress played Michonne in the hit AMC TV series before departing during the show's recent tenth season.
Danai has also appeared in a number of Marvel films as Okoye, and her raised profile is helping the actress speak out on important issues close to her heart to raise awareness.
In a new interview with Women's Health, Danai recalled witnessing a sexual assault at the University of Zimbabwe when she was only nine years old.
She said: "There [were] some people saying, ‘Well, she was wearing a short skirt,’ things like that and I was outraged…
"I was outraged also because I didn’t have the vocabulary to combat how unfair the assessment of her and her situation and the assault was, how she was somehow being blamed.
"And I didn’t have the words to advocate for her, and advocate for how that was wrong.”
As well as standing up for women's rights and female empowerment, Danai is also a keen activist against racial prejudice and injustice.
She said: "Concerning the fight for racial justice, a fight that so many have devoted their lives to over so many years, a fight that has stubbornly refused to be won, I’m daring to hope.
"This is a moment that could bring about some real change and honour the labour of those who have come before.
"I desire to help that change come to pass in any way I can. That’s what inspires me to keep going.”
As for the changes she hopes to see, Danai added: "We need sustainable reforms.
"I’d like to see anti-racism popularised in our culture, our society, language, commonality and ultimately throughout the system. That would allow for true justice to be the norm and not the exception.”
Read the full Danai Gurira interview in the August 2020 issue of Women’s Health, on sale from the 8th July 2020, also available as a digital edition.
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