13 Reasons Why's Alisha Boe Speaks Out Against People Slut Shaming Her Character

Over the past month, 13 Reasons Why has been all over our feeds. From some media outlets praising the show for its honest portrayal of mental health to others criticising the way the show handles such issues, the Netflix show's opinion rating is divided. Whether you are agree or oppose the way the show deals with suicide, sexual assault and bullying, Alisha Boe, who plays Jessica, is questioning the way many have reacted to her character's sexual assault.

It was a hot chocolate friendship.

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In a recent interview with Elite Daily, the 20-year-old actress says that she expected people to sympathise with Jessica, but was shocked to see people slut-shaming and victim-blaming the character online. However, Alisha believes that one of the reasons people are reacting like this is because of society's victim-blaming culture. 

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"I thought everyone would sympathise with Jessica because of what she’s been through, to me that made the most sense. She’s a survivor and she’s been trying to deal with it and she’s acting out because of it," she explained. "But what I realised when the show came out, I was getting comments and being tagged in photos and fan theories that I can’t help but look at, but basically, people are slut-shaming Jessica. They’re calling her a b*tch and they’re saying she deserved it, that I should take Justin back and I shouldn’t be that drunk at a party and it made me take a second and step back and realise, wow, we as a society are not able to not blame the rape survivor but more so we want to take Justin’s side because he’s charming and has a nice smile."

She makes the point that it is this sort of victim-blaming (i.e. survivors being blamed because of how they acted or what they wore) that stops a sexual assault victim from coming forward to report the crime. 

This isn't the first time Alisha has spoken up about sexual assault. In April, she stood alongside Joe Biden to send a message to sexual assault survivors: "We want the survivors in the room today to know that your voice matters, your story is important and your truth is real... You are never, ever, ever alone."

If you (or someone you know) is experiencing sexual or physical violence, we encourage you to ring 1800-RESPECT, a national telephone support line. Do not feel ashamed to seek help!