The National Coalition Against Domestic VIolence (NCADV) applauds the Cook County grand jury who handed down 10 indictments today against R. Kelly for aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims. Per Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney, aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of three to seven years.
“We are so encouraged by a system that is taking the steps to hold this man accountable for his behaviors against the girls and women he has hurt,” said Ruth Glenn, President/CEO of NCADV. “Believing survivors is the first step in providing justice and resolution for them.”
NCADV has frequently spoken out about the need for society to raise the bar and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, most recently on Kelly himself. After the release of the #SurvivingRKelly documentary by Lifetime, NCADV released a statement stressing, “[Kelly] stalked and chose his victims and his staff set up meetings during which he used his fame, power and control to sexually, emotionally and physically abuse them. Most remarkably, his targets were young black girls and women, a group especially marginalized and hidden -- over 90% of women and girls of color have been hurt by those who claim to love and care for them.”
Society’s oversexualization and oppression of black women increases the victimization of young black women by predators like Kelly. The pain and suffering these young women and their families endured for over two decades is staggering. As a culture, we must break through our societal denial about the power and privilege that abusers capitalize on to harm victims.