America Ferrera revealed via an emotional Instagram post on Monday night that she was sexually assaulted as a young girl by an older man who she knew.
"First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9-years-old," she wrote. "I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man."
The 33-year-old Superstore star was then forced to be around her abuser on a daily basis.
"I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come," she continued. "He would smile at me and wave, and I would hurry past him, my blood running cold, my guts carrying the burden of what only he & I knew — that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back."
"Ladies, let's break the silence to the next generation of girls won't have to live with this bulls--t," she added.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star has been outspoken about women's rights. In January, she attended the Women's March in Washington, D.C., and told PEOPLE at the time that she planned to continue fighting for human rights after the march ended.
"I've been a part of different convenings in my industry, my hometown in Los Angeles, creating alliances and bridges, challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone the issues I have historically identified and taken on," she said.
She added, "I think it's time for all of us to widen our perspective and widen our circle of what matters to us and what causes we take up. Really at the core of many causes is human dignity. And that is what we share in this fight to be seen and to be valued."
Ferrera opened up about her sexual assault as a young girl as part of the #MeToo movement on social media, in which women share their stories of sexual harassment or assault in order to shed light on the severity of the issue.
The movement exploded across social media after Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and harassment by eight women, including Ashley Judd, in a bombshell New York Times report earlier this month. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan, who later claimed that the producer had raped her.0comments
Weinstein has since been fired from the studio he helped found, The Weinstein Company, kicked out of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she's leaving him.
Photo Credit: Instagram / @americaferrera