GREENWICH, Conn. -- An Academy Award-nominated actress said the outcry over the light prison sentence for a Stanford University student found guilty of a heinous rape shows that people are grappling publicly with sexual assault cases and domestic violence as never before.
"Domestic violence and rape are two of the most underreported crimes in the U.S. and I think that the fact that this is getting so much publicity is a really big thing," Abigail Breslin said Friday in an appearance in Greenwich. She spoke out before the "Changemaker Awards" gala at the Greenwich International Film Festival.
Breslin was honored for her work work fighting domestic violence. She was feted along with Trudie Styler, wife of musician Sting, for her work supporting indigenous people around the world.
Former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster on campus and sentenced to six months in prison last week. The judge's light sentence has drawn widespread criticism. Turner could have been sent to prison for 14 years, and prosecutors had asked for six.
Breslin received her "Rising Changemaker Award" for working with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
"It's an uncomfortable topic, rape and domestic violence. People don't like talking about it," Breslin said. "It's not a fun subject, and I think it's important to create a discussion. And what the survivor of that case did by reading that letter and making it public was a huge, huge thing."
The victim read a letter in court recounting her feelings at Turner's sentencing. It can be read in its entirety here on Buzzfeed.com .
Styler received her award for her work with the Rainforest Fund, a charitable foundation dedicated to the support of indigenous peoples and traditional people around the world. Styler has been involved in film and is a producer of the movie "Snatch."
Breslin has appeared in the television series "Scream Queens" and the movie "Little Miss Sunshine," for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
A portion of the proceeds from The Changemaker Gala will go to support the Rainforest Fund and the NCADV.