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Priya Motiani

JWB Blogger

Viola Davis’s Speech About Sister’s Sexual Assault Is Heart-Wrenching

  • JWB Post
  •  November 27, 2015

 

Famed American actress and Emmy winner Viola Davis spoke candidly about her sister’s sexual assault recently at UCLA’s Stuart House which is a foundation for treatment, prevention and education of the sexually abused. And her speech moved us to tears.

She began by narrating how her sister became the victim of this inhumane act at the tender age of 8…

“I have a sister, who, when she was 8 years old, put on some roller skates with her friend, went down to the corner store at one o’clock in the afternoon, went into the store and was sexually assaulted in the store.”

… and how the memory of the incident changed her life, for the worse.

“A precocious, very intelligent, very creative child grew up to be frail, angry, a drug addict by the time she was 20.” 

Viola went on to say that memories have teeth. Well, now that we come to think of it, how true is that! Don’t the bitter memories bite us for as long as they stay?

She also revealed that her now 39-year old sister had once been a prostitute and also an IV drug addict, to the extent that her 6 children were taken away by the social services.

“You know, memories demand attention because memories have teeth, If I had a fantasy, and I mean a fantasy, I would give my sister permission to speak. And I would want her in an environment where people heard her.”

Viola expresses how much she wished for her sister to have the healing support of the Stuart House. She believes that her sister’s whole life could have been different, for the good.

Towards the end of her speech, she realizes the bigger picture; she sees how all her prayers for her sister have been answered in the form of this Stuart House which is helping such other sisters out there in the world.

“I guess if I were to speak about anything today, I’m going to speak about my sisters of the world. The people who fell through the cracks, who didn’t have a Stuart House.”

I wish that I could tell my sister that she’s not dirtyAnd that she should not feel any shame of something that she literally was not responsible for. I wish I could save her life,” Viola concludes.

We wish solace for all the women out there who are struggling with such circumstances. And we really hope that they speak up and make themselves heard.

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