2018 was a great year for our organization and our efforts to be boots on the ground fighting against child sexual abuse in our community. Check out a summary of last year by clicking here.
We'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the vast amount of coverage this 3-part Lifetime docu-series has generated about embattled singer R. Kelly. It doesn't appear as if the singer will survive the Surviving R. Kelly series, though for many years - he's been able to escape charges of physical and sexual abuse against women, dodge rumors of keeping women in a sex cult, and deny decades of allegations that he is a pedophile.
As a community, we've been aware of R. Kelly moving amongst us, our families, and our children as a documented predator. First, his marriage to then 14 year old singer Aaliyah in 1994; then the illicit video in 2002 allegedly showing him having sex with a minor. Now that this docu-series has debuted, we have experienced a range of emotions: anger at what his victims were subjected to, sadness at how watching this TV event triggered some of us survivors and caused us to relive our own personal abuse, and disappointment in the members of our community who continue to defend a known predator by victim shaming or choosing to love his music more than the lives he damaged.
We need to ask ourselves some tough questions: Is it not time for us to change how we listen to and respond to abuse claims? According to this docu-series, R. Kelly himself was sexually abused as a child; and it's well documented that in some cases - the abused becomes the abuser. Why have we not held R. Kelly accountable for his crimes against our children? Did we choose his music over justice? This docu-series moved these women from the arena of faceless accusers to those who look like our daughters, our sisters, our little cousins, and our mother! Keeping our women safe must be more important than any slammin’ beat R. Kelly can give us.
In light of all this and in light of what's to come as it relates to this case, old cases, and future cases - Left Foot Forward is here to help. From preventive education, to survivors' support groups, to healing through the arts - we are boots on the ground addressing the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities. Check out all of the services that we offer here, and then contact us if there is any way we can meet your, your family, or your community's needs!