Viola Davis gave an impassioned speech on how sexual assault and rape affect Black women in honor of Tarana Burker, the founder of the Me Too Movement.
On Friday, Davis was at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon and introduced Burke, who she called a “hero.”
The Academy-Award winning actress said that rape could lead to many issues including eating disorders and depression and it often feels like a death.
“Usually that’s what it becomes. ‘Let me tell you about the day and the time that I died.’ She leaves her body, and the journey to becoming a survivor, an overcomer, to bringing your predator to justice, is a long road,” Davis said.
Davis then spoke about how sexual assault impact Black women at alarming rates.
“And so if you can imagine how horrific that is, then also imagine that a black woman is 66% more likely to be assaulted again if she is raped before the age of 18,” she said. “If you can imagine, if you can wrap your mind around it, there is a rung lower that people see than being a woman. And it’s being a woman of color.”
The How to Get Away with Murder star said that Burke’s work has allowed victims of sexual assault to tell their stories the way that they need to.
“She’s allowing these young girls to own their story. And to still, despite the trauma, despite the heartache, despite the fact that something was taken from them, that day, that moment, that they could still lead a life of value. And my god, if that is not a golden lasso and a cape, I don’t know what is.”