Dakota Johnson Gave Out Her Number To Encourage Women To Share Stories Of Trauma

"This is my phone number, and I want you to call me."

While most fans of actress Dakota Johnson would settle for your basic celebrity encounter — a selfie on the streets or a quick wave from the red carpet — the Fifty Shades of Grey star wants to take things one step further. During an on-stage appearance at Sunday's Global Citizen Festival, Johnson gave the entire audience her phone number and encouraged both women and girls to leave voicemail messages detailing their stories of trauma because, while most of the stars who appeared this weekend were there to speak up, Johnson was ready to listen.

"I care what you have to say, and I want to help you, women and girls around the world, to tell your story," she explained. "This is my phone number [212-653-8806]," Johnson said to the crowd as she pulled out her cell phone. "And I want you to call me, and I want you to tell me your story in a voicemail. Or I want you to send me a message at dakota.johnson@globalcitizen.org and tell me what you've gone through as a woman or girl in the world that's been suffering."

"If we don't speak the same language, that's OK. We have a team for that. We'll translate it," Johnson added, noting that she and Global Citizen have already amassed a team to translate messages in any language. "And if you're going to threaten to hurt me, we have a team for that, too." 

Ultimately, Johnson wants to "compile these stories and get them heard so I can amplify your voice. Together, we can achieve a world where she is equal."

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Upon dialing the number Johnson provided, callers will be automatically directed to her voicemail inbox, where she says: "This is Dakota Johnson. Please leave a voicemail after the tone and I will record and share your story so that we can live in a world where she is equal. Thank you." 

Of course, while most people have guessed that this phone number isn't Johnson's personal line, it does offer women and girls who might otherwise suffer in silence a safe outlet to speak about their trauma. After all, there are benefits to sharing one's story, even if it's been years since the trauma occurred. As Susanne Babbel Ph.D., M.F.T. wrote for Psychology Today, it's possible to grow and recover from trauma if you're willing to face the experience head-on.

"The saying 'what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger' is an oversimplified and glorified belief," Babbel writes. "What doesn't kill us can sometimes eat away at us for years and decades of our lives, ultimately affecting us on a deep psychological level."

Inspired by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's brave testimony regarding her sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, many survivors have also come forward to share stories about their own attacks in solidarity. While doing so surely hasn't been easy for those who found themselves reliving their own experiences as they listened to Dr. Ford, their voices also help amplify the risks women face every day.

But, with women like Johnson — women who have large platforms and a widespread audience — working to lift up those women who've been held down for so long, perhaps we can finally achieve the level of recognition that will pave the path to gender equality.

Cover image via Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock

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