For anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault, opening up about the experience can be extremely difficult.
Actor Terry Crews is being commended for his powerful and emotional testimony before the US Senate this week, in which he discussed being the victim of alleged sexual assault.
The Expendables star testified at a hearing on proposed legislation known as the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights.
When Crews was asked by US Senator Dianne Feinstein why he didn't respond with violence against his alleged assailant, he fought back tears, responding:
Senator, as a black man in America, you only have a few shots at success. You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of the community
Crews claims a well-known Hollywood agent groped him at a party in 2016.
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... that he was in control
This is how toxic masculinity permeates culture
Instead of using violence, he said that he reported the alleged attack to the agent's company the day after it happened. According to reports, Crews has filed a lawsuit against agent Adam Venit and employer William Morris Endeavours. Venit denies the allegations.
He went on to explain that his wife is responsible for his calm demeanour, saying she “trained” to avoid violence at all costs.
After clips of Crews’ testimony went viral, onlookers praised him for being so honest and articulate about his experience.
Rape, harassment & assault are often approached as “womans issues” where boys and men are sidelined as silent victi… https://t.co/xTFu8Yxbnj
But unfortunately, not everyone could be so supportive. Rapper 50 Cent uploaded a post to Instagram which appears to mock crews. In the Instagram post which has since been removed, he said, "LOL, What the f**k is going on out here man? Terry: I froze in fear. They would have had to take me to jail. Get the strap."
Thankfully, the Internet was there to put the rapper in his place and bring the attention back to Crews’ bravery.
You know what’s really sad about these high profile black men mocking T. Crews? Terry publicly told his story, sayi… https://t.co/er0kvy2YbQ