Jada Pinkett Smith Turns Her Attention Towards Date Rape

The actress's niece was drugged but luckily escaped unharmed.

Posted: 07/23/2014 11:34 AM EDT

After a scary experience hit close to home, Jada Pinkett Smith is turning her activist attention towards date rape and empowering young women like her daughter, Willow, and a niece who was drugged.

"My niece was given a date rape drug that weekend," the actress told reporters at the Fox TCA panel for the upcoming series Gotham. "She's 20 years old — thank God nothing happened because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her."

The topic of conversation was a relevant one as a 16-year-old named Jada was recently drugged, raped and then had the video of the incident go viral on social media. Pinkett Smith detailed how her own niece started noticing the effects of the drug and was then taken care of by her group of friends. Unfortunately, the young Jada didn't have that same protection around her and was devastated to realize what happened to her.

"There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women. We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways," Pinkett Smith continued at the panel discussion.

She's already started at home with her 13-year-old daughter by asking her niece to share her story with Willow and her friends.

"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.'"

To read how the actress is helping her teen feel more confident in herself, click here.

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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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