Relieved reactions after R. Kelly conviction: ‘I want to believe…
The conviction of singer R. Kelly has brought relief to his victims, mainly black underage girls, who, when they had the courage to report the abuse, were sometimes labeled as liars, attention whores and gold diggers for up to 25 years after the abuse. They hope this is a turning point for the credibility of black girls and women in sex crimes.
Monday a public jury in New York has a singer R. Kelly found guilty nine federal crimes, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation of minors, kidnapping and bribery. He faces several decades in prison. It is the first conviction in more than two decades of accusations. The stories go back to the beginning of his career in the 1990s, in which many cases involved the sexual abuse of minors.
R. Kelly and his lawyers keep up the old chorus. Kelly didn’t expect this verdict, because who would do that based on the evidence presented? Kelly himself thanked his loyal fans and supporters and further stated that he will prove his innocence on Facebook.
“Just about everyone called me a liar and said I had no proof. Some even suspected me of chasing money,” Jerhonda Pace said on Instagram after the conviction. She testified in court about sexual abuse by Kelly in 2009 when she was 16.
In doing so, both cite an old sore in sexual matters. When minors realize the seriousness of what happened, realize that they didn’t deserve it and finally break through the shame, often a lot of time has passed. Showing evidence alongside testimonials is difficult. Nevertheless, a lot of footage of the sexual abuse was also shown in court. There are also known ‘silence contracts’.
The fact that it nevertheless took up to 25 years before R. Kelly was convicted of the sexual abuse is not only thanks to the lawyers and other helpers in his entourage. “I’ve always said that if his victims had had blond hair and blue eyes, it would never have taken this long,” Kelly’s ex-wife Drea Kelly told ITV on Tuesday. She also noted that a whole culture of blaming victims has ensured that women have not come out sooner with the abuse by the singer.
Jerhonda Pace is the first to agree. “It’s not easy to admit that you’ve been abused, especially when your abuser is rich or famous. And yet I did it. That caused a domino effect, more and more people made statements. Many have not dared it until now. I’m happy to be a spokesperson for them,” she said in her Instagram post.
Pace is ready “to close this chapter in her life.” But for documentary maker Dream Hampton, who had ten women testify about the abuse in the documentary series ‘Surviving R. Kelly’, the stocking is not finished.
“I want to believe that this means Black women survivors will be heard, but I don’t want it to be dependent on a piece of media going viral,” @dreamhampton, executive producer of “Surviving R. Kelly,” says of his conviction. pic.twitter.com/CYLecgQ1C5
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) September 28, 2021
“I want to believe that black women who have been victims of abuse continue to be heard. I don’t want this to be an exception, because the perpetrator is so famous and rich that the story is going viral in the media. In the neighborhood where I grew up, so many young girls have been exposed to sexual violence by an incapacitated, unknown man.’ According to Hampton, they too are entitled to recognition and compensation: “Therapy is not free,” she said in an interview with the American channel CBS.