Our Official Statement on "Surviving R. Kelly"
The complexity in the discussion of the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” includes the multiple ways by which women of color express experiences of abuse, victim blaming and misogynoir (defined as the specific hatred, dislike, distrust, and prejudice directed toward black women).
The predatory acts upon young and grown women of color by R. Kelly, not only illustrate the depth and degree of victimization, but the complicity of the recording industry and its leaders. Rape culture and its perpetration is evidenced by the duration of the acts and the grooming to secure the next victim.
This must become conversation that matches both in depth and duration the pain and suffering of the affected survivors. We need justice and healing for prevention to occur in our communities. Many young girls of color fall victim to the abuse and entanglements of older men which are met with stereotypes of being “fast”, “out here” or “thots”. This is merely the denial of the hyper-sexualization by our culture.
Many women of color have and continue to pay the price for the rampant and pervasive acts of sexual abuse inflicted upon them. The R. Kelly conversation is the same as the Cyntoia Brown case that recently came to national attention. Whether trafficked to one man or many, the devastating effects to the lives of the women and their families are carried as secrets for generations. These secrets over time erode any sense of safety, freedom or belonging to the community.
Conversations must be had. Services and supports must be offered. Vera House is open for both. If you are a victim of sexual or domestic abuse and want to change the course of time for yourself, your family and our community, please call our 24-hour crisis & support line at (315) 468-3260.
The Vera House Survivors’ Network is a place for those who have already begun the healing journey and want to make a difference for others in our community. We’d welcome your participation. Join the Survivors’ Network by calling (315) 425-0818.