Meryl Streep speaks out about violence against women

Oscar winner opens up about being physically assaulted

Meryl Streep has spoken out against violence against women, opening up about being physically assaulted in the past.

Streep made the comments during her speech at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York on Wednesday (November 15).

Addressing the audience, Streep spoke of it being an “exciting, exhaustive and dangerous time to be an investigative journalist,” saying that this applied “especially, of course” to women.

Streep added: “I say ‘of course,’ because we do recognise the special cocktail of venom and ridicule, which is always tinged with sexual threat that is served up online for women, any woman in any profession, who stands up to tell the truth. I revere the people who do this because I am not a naturally brave person.”

The Oscar winner went on to discuss “the two times in my life when I was threatened and dealt with real, physical violence,” saying that from these incidents, “I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. And I was lucky because my instincts served me well.”

In the first instance, Streep says she “played dead” and “waited until the blows stopped”, “watching like people say you do from 50 feet above where I was beaten.”

“In the second instance, someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man,” she added. “Ask Cher, she was there. And the thug ran away, it was a miracle.”

“But I was changed by these events on a cellular level,” Streep said. “Because women do know something particular about coming to the danger place. We come to it disadvantaged through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability we anticipate danger, we expect it.”

“We’re hyper alert to it, we have the 360 on the whole room. We have measurably more acute hearing, we have a better sense of smell, we notice details — what people are wearing, their tics and peculiarities.”

“This comes in very handy in investigative journalism – but also in acting,” Streep said.

Watch Meryl Streep’s speech in full above.

Last month saw Streep speak out about the Harvey Weinstein rape and sexual misconduct allegations, saying: “The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.”