i am jada, jada pinkett smith,

*Jada Pinkett-Smith is speaking up for rape victims everywhere — including a 16-year-old girl named Jada whose rape went viral. And now supports #JusticeforJada.

“There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women,” she told PEOPLE. “We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways.”

Pinkett-Smith opened up about her own experiences with rape within her family — her niece was given a date rape drug.  And although, her niece was drugged, fortunately she wasn’t actually raped.

“She’s 20 years old – thank God nothing happened because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her,” Pinkett Smith revealed.

Her friends realized she was drugged after she said, “Oh, my god, I can’t feel my…” Then, she lost consciousness.

Pinkett-Smith had her niece share her experience with Willow and a couple of her friends to educate the young women.

“It’s one thing to sit with me as her mother: It’s like ‘Okay, Mom, yeah, I get that.’ But when you have your 20-year-old cousin that comes in, and she’s like, ‘This is what happened,’ and it was somebody you looked up to as well, it’s like, ‘Oh, man, this is really real.'” 

Pinkett-Smith believes the best way for her to empower her daughter is to encourage her individuality.

“When you allow a person to be an individual and you allow a person to have power within and have confidence with who they are, she’ll never have to look in the eyes of a man and question whether it’s a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ – she’s going to be very clear,” she said.