(WASHINGTON D.C.) — Terry Crews recounted his story of sexual assault on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, telling lawmakers, “I sit here as an example” of survivors.
“A lot of people believe a person like me can’t be victimized but what happened to me happened to many others,” the actor said.
Appearing before a Senate committee hearing to advocate for the “Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights,” the Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor and former NFL linebacker said that after he saw other sexual assault survivors come forward, only to be met with persecution and backlash, he spoke out in order to say, “I believed them, I supported them, and that this happened to me, too.”
The Survivor’s Bill of Rights would create special protections for sexual assault survivors, including not charging survivors for an examination, preserving rape kits for 20 years or the maximum applicable statute of limitations, and providing survivors with written notification before a rape kit is disposed of.
Crews explained that inside the world of Hollywood, behind the bright lights, is a groundswell of what he refers to as “toxic masculinity.” In 2017, he told ABC News that William Morris Endeavor executive Adam Venit assaulted him at a party
“The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand was that he held the power,” he told Senators of the incident.
Crews said he aims to give “power and control back to survivors.”
“As I shared my story, I was told over and over that this was not abuse,” he said. “This was just horseplay. But I can say one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation.”
He urged the lawmakers to ensure the “Survivors’ Bill of Rights” is enacted in all fifty states so that, “Now, if you know what you can do, you can do something about it.”
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