Meryl Streep recalls two violent incidents that changed her forever – one where she ‘played dead until the blows stopped’, and one witnessed by artist Cher.

Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep, has – for the first time – revealed her own experiences of male violence to help shed a light on just how prevalent the danger and fear of gender violence is for all women .

Speaking in a statement at the Committee to Protect Journalists‘ 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards in New York City, she described in harrowing detail how she was once beaten by an unnamed attacker who struck her repeatedly while she “played dead”.

cher and meryl

Ms. Streep and Cher starred together in the 1983 film Silkwood and have remained friends ever since. Cher has not released any statements relating to the incident highlighted.

Lending her voice to the brave women speaking out against sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, she stated, “I learned something about life that I wouldn’t have known otherwise and I was lucky because my instincts served me well…In one instance, I played dead and waited until the blows stopped — watching like people say you do, from about 50 feet above from where I was beaten. And in the second instance, someone else was being abused and I just went completely nuts and went after this man. Ask Cher — she was there. And the thug ran away…”

Although Ms. Streep did not specify when either of the violent attacks took place, she  said both had changed her “on a cellular level”, before highlighting how “hyper-alert” all women had to be to male violence to safeguard themselves from it.

We (as women)…through the many millennia preceding our present moment and because of our vulnerability…anticipate danger — we expect it. We’re hyper alert to it.

Ms. Streep has been an outspoken and prominent voice for women’s rights in Hollywood since revelations relating to Harvey Weinstein came to light.  “The behaviour is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar,” she stated at the time. “Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited…will ultimately change the game.”

If you have ever experienced any form of violence or abuse,