Viola Davis had men touch her inappropriately as a child.

The 52-year-old 'The Help' actress is glad so many people are speaking up about the sexual harassment they have experienced to raise awareness of what is going on but revealed she has been a victim of sexual assault when she was just a child.

Speaking to PorterEdit magazine, Viola said: ''Not only do I have my own story, I have my own stories. I am telling you, I have had men touch me in inappropriate ways throughout my childhood.

''I have had men follow me on any given day, and I am saying during the day, at one o'clock in the afternoon, and expose themselves to me. ''

The Academy Award winner went on to recall a time when she was waiting her niece to finish pre-school in Rhode Island and around 26 men in cars shouted abuse at her, but she said her own experiences have help her feel ''compassion'' for those who have spoken out recently.

She said: ''I remember one day, when I was 27, waiting at the bus stop in Rhode Island for my niece to get out of pre-school.

''I was probably there 25 minutes, and I am not lying because I counted, 26 cars drove by with men in them who solicited me, harassed me, yelled at me, verbally abused me. Some of these men had baby seats in the back. And yeah, it makes you feel like crap, it makes you feel like, what would a childhood be if that were removed?

''And it's hard to separate that stain from who you are. You tattoo it on yourself. Those personal experiences have allowed me to feel compassion for the women who have spoken up.''

Although the 'How To Get Away With Murder' star is pleased there is now an increased awareness of sexual assault, she recently said each person will have to make a sacrifice.

Viola said: ''Nothing can be great unless it costs you something. For me, everything has cost me something.

''I think that people sometimes want to take the safe route. The way life works, it's gotta cost you something.

''That's when you know you've really made the sacrifices ... I cannot tell you at any time in my life that I was not sexually assaulted in some way.''