TikTok star Loren Gray opened up about being sexually assaulted when she was 12 years old, sharing her story in a video on the platform on Friday, which she began with a photo of herself shortly before she turned 13. "This is me, over five years ago, not long before my 13th birthday," Gray wrote over the photo. "At this time, I had my innocence stolen from me in the basement of someone I trusted. I only told one person and to this day she remains my best friend. We cried in my bathroom together for hours."
"I struggled to put the pieces together as to why this had happened to me," the now 18-year-old continued. "It took two months for me to finally tell my parents. I felt dirty, hopeless, broken and worthless. I was confused and scared. I felt like it was my fault." Gray explained that she was homeschooled, so she started making videos "to pass the time and ease some of the loneliness and isolation I had felt." "People were watching my videos and although I was still struggling, I felt like I had finally found people who cared, regardless of my situation," she continued. "Although, every now and then the comments and questions would be too much. 'She looks like a whore.' 'Are you a virgin?'"
TW. when I say you have helped me more than you know, I truly mean it.♬ original sound - marbarboyce
"I was always afraid to tell my story, fearing people would view me differently [and] I would lose those I cared about," she continued. "I'm 18 now, and I've realized that my past does not define me. It was never my fault, and I never deserved it. I came out stronger and I'm so proud of myself. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and if my story can help even ONE person, then to me it's a story worth telling."
In a message on Twitter on Friday, Gray wrote that she "received a message that somehow someone knew" and decided that she wanted to tell her story on her own terms. "I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support and love that I have felt today. but it also breaks my heart how often this happens," she shared. "I'm very lucky that I have such supportive friends and family, who never judged or placed blame. I'm very grateful. Although i was forced to grow up quickly and lost a part of me in the process, I wouldn't change anything about my life. Every experience I've had has taught me something about myself. This one taught me how strong I truly am, and how much I'm capable of overcoming."
Gray continued by thanking her fans, writing that "you give me purpose and helped me through the darkest times in my life." "I hope that this can shed some light on the gravity of sexual assault, and provide some hope for anyone who can relate," she concluded. "Love you all so much. Thank you for listening."