The 29-year-old writes that she was in the laundry room of her house with the 18-year-old son of her parents' friends when the incident occurred. They were drying off after swimming in the pool when the man forced her to touch his erection. Graham ran out of the room in fear, but said that the episode "left me with so many lingering questions."
Graham's story is horrifying, but all too common. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), one in nine girls under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. In child sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 59 percent were perpetrated by acquaintances, RAINN reports.
In her book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like (out May 9), Graham also shares that her father was verbally abusive, even suggesting she lose weight after a modeling agent told her to "tighten up," People reports. She cried in the backseat of a taxi after the conversation.
When Graham, who grew up in Nebraska, moved to New York City to pursue a modeling career, she began abusing drugs and alcohol. It got so bad that she was nearly fired from her agency after missing a flight for a job after an all-night drinking binge. "I hit bottom," she writes.
Kudos to Graham for being so open and using her position as a body-positivity role model to speak out.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). More resources are available online from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
This story originally appeared on Self.
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