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A Quick Word on R. Kelly…

A Quick Word on R. Kelly…

Kelly has been making headlines for months since the debut of Lifetime’s documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly”. Recently, an emotional Kelly was interviewed by Gayle King on “CBS This Morning”. It was his first interview since his arrest on sex abuse charges. As the interview progressed, the singer’s behavior became increasingly erratic, perhaps in an attempt to evoke sympathy.

Watch more of the interview below, courtesy of CBS News.

Robert Kelly is a pedophile, despite him “beating” child pornography charges in what he considers the “way, way past”, it is a commonly known fact that he is sexually attracted to young women, specifically under aged girls. R. Kelly also appears to be a narcissist, hungry for power he can exert over those he deems powerless. R. Kelly, though wealthy, well-known, and quasi-talented, is no different from the countless men, regardless of relation or familiarity, who continue to sexually abuse women and girls.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, every 1 in 3 women has experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) reports that 321, 500 Americans aged 12 or older are raped or sexually assaulted each year. Nine out of ten, or 90% of sexual assault victims are women; making it highly likely that you know a victim of sexual abuse/assault. Just as likely is the fact that you may know a perpetrator of sexual violence. As unsettling as that may be, imagine the reality victims face as they may relive their assaults as this story plays out in the news and social media.

The story of R. Kelly, is not just about a famous man doing horrible things. It is about the conversations we don’t have about sexual assault, it is about creating a culture where survivors feel safe to speak up and report their abusers, and even more so, it is about fostering environments where sexual perpetrators are not emboldened to even commit these offenses. As a survivor of a non-reported sexual assault, I know how important it is that other survivors feel like there are safe spaces (or people) they feel comfortable speaking with about their experiences.

Too often, we do not believe women who report being assaulted, resulting in more and more victims to remain silent. As the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements continue to grow, it is imperative that we do our part to take sexual assault seriously. Each of us plays a role in preventing and addressing sexual abuse, whether it be volunteering for a 24/7 hotline or calling out inappropriate and unwanted sexual behavior.

What will YOU do to invoke change to end the epidemic of sexual assault?

The Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response, or STAR program of Baton Rouge provides services and advocacy for survivors, including a 24/7 hotline, counseling and assistance navigating the legal system. You can find more information at https://www.star.ngo

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