*dream hampton, award-winning filmmaker and executive producer of “Surviving R. Kelly,” writes in Washington Post Opinions: R. Kelly’s predation and abuse of Black girls was an open secret for almost three decades. After he was convicted of nine federal counts of sex trafficking and racketeering on Monday, the self-nicknamed “Pied Piper of R&B” is finally seeing his own bill come due.
But while this verdict may make potential future victims safer, it’s not enough. We need to invest in the safety and futures of survivors and whistleblowers. I’ve seen first-hand just how great those needs can be, and how far we have to go in providing them.
[…]For our Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” I sat for countless hours with women as they opened old wounds and relived their trauma. Many of them said they were teenagers when he began abusing them. Some of them didn’t feel able to sit in front of our cameras, but they spoke to us to corroborate the stories of those who did appear on screen.
They had no way to be sure what impact their testimonies might have. But they all faced our cameras knowing that a significant number of viewers would disbelieve them and abuse them online, and that Kelly himself would continue to use his resources to harass and intimidate them. And still they spoke through tears, through terror, beneath hot lights and for the hours it requires to make television.
I can say from listening to their stories that not one of them is emotionally healthy. Every single one of Kelly’s survivors, of all genders, could use a fund making decades of therapy possible.
And that’s just a start.
Read MORE at Washington Post.