Los Angeles: Actress Viola Davis says her own experiences with sexual assault led her to become an advocate for the Rape Foundation, adding that “we are all survivors of sexual assault in some way, shape or form”.
The ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ star opened up about her experience while being honoured at the Rape Foundation’s Annual Brunch in Beverly Hills here on Sunday.
“Myself, my mother, my sisters, my friend Rebecca, my friend from childhood, we all have one thing in common: We are all survivors of sexual assault in some way, shape or form,” Davis said.
She added, “Listen, when I was young, there were so many men in the neighbourhood who gave you money if they could touch you. Going over to a friend’s house for a birthday party at the age of seven, there was always someone there who touched you.”
Davis, who has previously spoken publicly about how her sister was a victim of sexual assault, opened up again about the experience. She said, “My sister Danielle was 8-year-old when she was on roller skates and went down to the corner store at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and was sexually assaulted in the aisles.”
“She told my mom right away - my mom ran down to the store. The store owner’s response was, ‘He does that to all the little girls.’ My mom flagged down the police, and the perpetrator did pay. He paid. He was fined USD 10 a month. It’s over for him, but I’d like to redefine survivor.”
The actress also made an appearance ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ - which is aired in India on Star World and Star World HD - where she said that people think she is actually a serious personality even in real life because of her serious roles.