Viola Davis Speaks Out for Sexual Assault Survivors Ignored by Mainstream Media

Viola Davis Speaks Out for Sexual Assault Survivors Ignored by Mainstream Media

"I am always introduced as an award-winning actor, but my testimony is one of poverty, of one being assaulted."

by Zahara Hill, January 22, 2018

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Viola Davis Speaks Out for Sexual Assault Survivors Ignored by Mainstream Media

CNN/Screenshot

Multi-award winning actress Viola Davis delivered a moving speech during Saturday’s Women’s March in Los Angeles.

At the demonstration, which has been criticized for its lack of intersectional feminism, Davis shared the significance of being cognizant of the struggles faced by women of color.



“One out of every five women will be sexually assaulted or raped before she reaches the age of 18. That women of color, if they’re raped or sexually assaulted before the age of 18, are 66-percent more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted again. Seventy percent of girls who are sexually trafficked are girls of color. They are coming out of the foster care system, they are coming out of poverty. It is a billion dollar industry. When they go into the sex trafficking business — and they call it a business, trust me — more than likely, they are gang raped.”

Davis, who is the only Black woman to receive an Emmy, Oscar and Tony, is oft outspoken on the struggles of people of color. Saturday was no different. A survivor of sexual abuse, Davis referenced the women who fear joining the #MeToo movement against sexual assault.
“I am speaking today, not just for the #metoos, because I was a #metoo, but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless. The women who don’t have the money, and who don’t have the constitution, and who don’t have the confidence, and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that’s rooted in the shame of assault. That’s rooted in the stigma of assault.”

“Nothing and no one can be great without a cost. I am always introduced as an award-winning actor, but my testimony is one of poverty, of one being assaulted and very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. I know that every single day when I think of that, I know the trauma of those events are still with me today … That’s what allows me to listen to the women who still sit in silence.” 

Watch the full 9-minute speech here:





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