Terry Crews advocated for survivors and shared his struggle with disrespecting women as well as his #MeToo moment with the Senate, hoping to shed light on the “cult of masculinity” culture that takes power from women and help their rights be restored.
Testifying along with Crews was Amanda Nguyen, a survivor, who drafted the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. The bill mandates rape kit preservation for survivors, access to medical information and their legal rights, counseling and time during the statute of limitations to emotionally process the assault before reporting it to police without the threat of a ticking clock.
Crews said he never reported his assault to the police because he knew no one would take him seriously. #MeToo changed that.
“I was told over and over that this was not abuse. This was just a joke. This was just horseplay,” Crews said. “But I can say one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation I know how hard it is to come forward.”
Crews was ostracized by Black men for telling his story and also penalized for retaliating by having Hollywood roles held over his head and by having to turn down others.
He said he grew up watching abuse in his household and later validated his need for control by dominating women in conversation, through pornography and even trying to control his wife and children.
“When you look at the culture with men not holding other men accountable, it turns into something that no one wants: a community that totally looks the other way while men, women and children are being raped,” Crews said.
Nguyen’s testimony to the Senate came a day after she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She started RISE, a national civil rights non-profit that advocates for survivors’ rights bills.
Only 14 states have voted to pass the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights so far, including New York, Maryland, and Utah.
Watch his testimony at the Senate hearing here:
WATCH – @terrycrews full opening statement: “I am honored to use my platform and story to help create additional civil rights protections for survivors across the nation under the Sexual Assault #SurvivorsBillofRights.”