Actress Lena Dunham insists the criticism she faced after revealing a sexual assault she experienced in her 2014 memoir will make her a better advocate for abused women.

In the Girls star's autobiography, Not That Kind of Girl, Dunham recalled an incident during her time at Oberlin College in Ohio, almost 10 years ago, when a man called Barry allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Former students at the small liberal arts school were allegedly able to identify the man Dunham was referring to, and some criticised and ridiculed her for coming forward, but she now feels the backlash was worth it.

She tells U.S. breakfast show Today, "It's a very, very painful thing to share an episode that personal and receive criticism. But what I received was only a small percentage of the doubt and victim blaming that most women who are sexually assaulted in this country experience.

"I am a celebrity with a platform and a lot of incredible support. Most women who come forward with accusations of sexual assault don't have those benefits, don't have my legal and emotional and financial support, and so for me I really feel like it enhanced my understanding of the cause and will hopefully make me a better advocate and activist in the future."