Actor Terry Crews sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee to advocate for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, retelling his own storyin an impassioned and honest speech. Crews' testimony comes at a time when the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights is moving into its next steps of implementation, having originally been signed into law in 2016 under President Obama.
In his testimony, Crews offered a poignant perspective. While pointing out the problems society faces with toxic masculinity, he highlighted his own experience of watching his father abuse his mother, following up, "I swore I would never be like my father, and yet, I believed to my core, that as a man, I was more valuable in this world than women."
His testimony shifted tremendously as he detailed his own experience. Recounting the alleged groping he endured at the hand of a WME agent, he said, "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." Following the alleged assault, Crews detailed that he "was told over and over that [the groping] is not abuse. That this was just a joke. That this was just horseplay." The agent in question was eventually demoted, but not fired.
Crews told his story along with fellow survivor Amanda Nguyen. Nguyen founded a not-for-profit organization for survivors called Rise, which championed the bill through passage.
The overarching aim of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights is to remove the burden of sexual assault from the victims. In future stages, implementation would take place in all 50 states, with victims of sexual assault having right to a fully subsidized rape kit, access to police reports, rape kit results, and access to proper counseling services.
Crews admitted that his six-minute testimony is just one in a long line of previous survivors; many of whom will benefit from the bill's benefits. Watch Crews' entire testimony on sexual assault, toxic masculinity, and the bill in question below.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.