Last week, Chicago authorities charged the singer R. Kelly with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and set his bond at million. I was one of the first survivors to call him out in the mid 2000s. I was a “me” before #MeToo. The world had not yet carved a space for survivors, especially black girls, to be heard — in court or in our communities.
Thankfully, things have changed.
I was five months pregnant in June 2008, but that doesn’t explain why I was so sick to my stomach. I steeled myself as I walked with the prosecutors down a dingy corridor toward a courtroom to testify against Rob, as I called him.
Someone pushed a long, rickety cart filled with case files. Throngs of people lined the hallway. Reporters were everywhere. I looked up and saw one of Rob’s main handlers staring me down. He was on his phone. I knew it was a scare tactic, but it worked. Even with a security detail around me, I was terrified. Still, I grabbed my belly and kept walking.
“Liar!” a woman yelled.
I was the main witness to testify against Rob in the infamous child pornography case. I was the only other person on the lurid sex tape — the one involving a 14-year-old girl — that landed the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B in court. I was just 17 when I met Rob years earlier, still a minor myself when he first coaxed me into group sex with him and the girl on the tape. He told me she was 16.
On the first day of trial, I thought one of Rob’s associates who had threatened to kill me a few months earlier might try. Because Rob knew that I knew the whole truth. Several people testified against him, but only three of us — Rob, the other girl and I — knew everything. The other girl wouldn’t testify. Her parents refused to admit she was in the video; they failed her. So I was the one left to shut up.
Of course, they didn’t really need to threaten violence to intimidate me. As a victim of sexual assault and psychological terror, I felt ashamed and frightened. I also felt conflicted for other reasons. In the black community, or at least where I was from in Chicago, it was understood that we stick together.
I knew he was wrong, I knew the truth needed to come out. And yet still I felt like a bad person for testifying against my abuser. Black people don’t go to the police, I thought to myself. Despite everything I had endured, and knowing that Rob had a serious problem with young girls that needed to be exposed, I still felt like a sellout.
Taking the stand was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I was barraged with questions for three hours, so much so I almost forgot who was on trial. I was belittled and embarrassed. I was dragged for bad things I had done in my past. I was called a “streetwalker.” They wanted me to feel like trash.
“God will send to you in the form of an angel, the devil!” someone on the defense side said to the mostly white, mostly male jury.
The jury ultimately found Rob not guilty of all 14 counts of child pornography. In the months after I testified, the reaction I faced from the public was overwhelmingly negative. I was called a liar, an extortionist and the girl who had the threesome.
Perhaps there were some sympathetic voices, somewhere in the ether. But they were drowned out by Rob’s power, wealth and “innocence.”
What a difference a decade can make.
One night last month, my 16-year-old daughter and I put on comfortable clothes and curled up on the couch to watch the premiere of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.” I appeared in it, along with several of Rob’s victims.
I was a bit nervous to watch. I looked over at my child and she seemed O.K., scrolling and texting on her phone.
We are different. She doesn’t like confrontation. I was always a fighter. But that’s because I’ve had to survive so much — foster care, childhood sex abuse, homelessness, intimate partner violence and Rob.
I’ve protected her from things I wasn’t protected from. My daughter knows to says things like she “wants her space” from boys who pursue her. And she dates boys her age. When I was 17, Rob was in his 30s. I was always looking for love; my daughter loves herself. This is what time has done. May our daughters never know men like Rob Kelly.
The documentary was intense from the start. At first, I felt myself watching from a distance. But once I settled back into reality, in my home surrounded by people who love me, I finally allowed myself to feel vindicated. All of the victims were echoing one another. I was no longer alone on a deserted island. Finally, I felt believed.
I think the survivors spoke out because we knew we have to talk about painful things like sexual abuse and incest in black America. Over time, I’ve come to believe that it is not a betrayal to tell the truth about our abusers, even if they are black men.
I didn’t think the response would be this big. I never imagined that after telling my truth — again — my life would be filled with so much love and support.
The documentary broke a viewing record for Lifetime. Millions of people watched. Rob was exposed as the abuser that he is. And it seems the world is now on my side and the side of every girl or woman who has been abused by Rob, or, by extension, any powerful man.
Since I first took the stand against Rob, I have become more committed to supporting survivors. On my worst days, I rationalize that I went through that terror so I might be able to help someone else. I give advice to survivors on my website. I’ve written a forthcoming book about my experience, “Surviving the Pied Piper of R&B.” I’m developing an organization that will connect abuse survivors with service dogs. I keep telling my story.
In the wilderness of 2008, I spoke out to help myself and the young woman on the tape. A decade later I spoke out in “Surviving R. Kelly" to help anyone who has been affected by abuse. But neither when I was a broken teenager susceptible to a wily predator, nor when I was a young woman who found the courage to tell the truth to a jury, could I have known this season of vindication would come. Not for a young, struggling, black girl victim like me.
It’s been a long time coming, but here we are. The documentary, the #MeToo and the #MuteRKelly movements and the brave people speaking their truth or organizing for change have led to new indictments against Rob and opened peoples eyes. If convicted, he could face up to 70 years in prison.
More than 10 years after I nervously faced Rob in court, I know one thing: This will not end the way it did before. It cannot.
Lisa VanAllen is the author of the forthcoming book “Surviving the Pied Piper of R&B.”
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黑马会坚持“【尹】【老】【师】，【你】【的】【这】【个】【问】【题】【不】【是】【多】【余】【的】【嘛】，【之】【前】……” 【樊】【尚】【伍】【似】【乎】【对】【于】【尹】【波】【的】【这】【一】【问】【题】【十】【分】【的】【不】【解】，【按】【照】【上】【一】【期】【节】【目】【录】【制】【时】，【这】【个】【哆】【啦】A【梦】【的】【表】【现】【来】【看】，【对】【方】【怎】【么】【可】【能】【不】【是】【专】【业】【歌】【手】【呢】？ 【对】【方】【演】【唱】【的】【那】【首】《【七】【友】》【感】【染】【力】【之】【强】，【直】【接】【让】【实】【力】【颇】【高】【的】【霸】【王】【龙】【都】【被】【淘】【汰】【掉】【了】，【如】【果】【不】【是】【专】【业】【歌】【手】【的】【话】，【这】【不】【是】【在】【开】【玩】【笑】
【等】【再】【反】【应】【过】【来】【时】，【罗】【刹】【已】【经】【不】【见】【了】【踪】【影】。 【同】【时】【消】【失】【的】，【还】【有】【嗷】【鸣】【刚】【刚】【吃】【进】【肚】【子】【里】【的】【那】【只】【魔】【物】！ “【嗷】【鸣】！” 【敖】【铭】【愤】【怒】【了】，【吼】【叫】【着】【去】【追】【只】【剩】【下】【一】【个】【小】【黑】【点】【的】【小】【剑】【灵】，【感】【觉】【整】【只】【龙】【都】【不】【好】【了】——【嗷】【鸣】【的】，【竟】【然】【敢】【抢】【我】【的】【食】【物】！【啊】【啊】【啊】！ 【苏】【沫】【看】【着】【欢】【乐】【多】【的】【两】【个】【小】【娃】【娃】，【不】【由】【抽】【了】【抽】【嘴】【角】：“【刚】【刚】……【我】【好】【像】【看】
【能】【将】【剑】【施】【展】【出】【形】【域】【的】【存】【在】，【必】【定】【是】【在】【剑】【之】【意】【境】【圆】【满】【的】【存】【在】。 【甚】【至】，【还】【要】【在】【圆】【满】【之】【上】。 【这】【一】【招】【星】【图】【剑】【域】，【复】【杂】【到】【了】【极】【点】，【陈】【子】【陵】【虽】【然】【是】【看】【着】【的】【汎】【剑】【圣】【君】【施】【展】【的】，【却】【根】【本】【看】【不】【透】【其】【中】【的】【玄】【奥】。 【连】【半】【点】【都】【看】【不】【透】。 “【试】【试】【吧】，【你】【能】【解】【开】【多】【少】，【本】【圣】【就】【传】【你】【多】【少】【机】【缘】，【不】【一】【定】【要】【用】【剑】，【任】【何】【手】【段】【都】【可】【以】。”【汎】【剑】黑马会坚持【表】【面】【上】【是】【高】【强】【度】【看】【比】【赛】，【实】【际】【上】【是】【卡】【文】【没】【卡】【出】【来】。 【毕】【竟】【这】【本】【书】【开】【书】【的】【时】【候】【说】【了】，【没】【大】【纲】，【直】【接】【莽】，【然】【后】【就】【填】【坑】【火】【葬】【场】，【很】【多】【角】【色】【的】【剧】【情】，【安】【排】【了】，【又】【觉】【得】【不】【好】【看】，【想】【写】【好】【看】，【又】【没】【有】【匹】【配】【的】【设】【定】。【我】【打】【算】【好】【好】【设】【计】【相】【关】【剧】【情】【的】……【但】【是】……【真】【的】【就】【是】【一】【开】【始】【没】【想】【好】，【没】【有】【能】【发】【挥】【的】【设】【定】，【而】【现】【有】【的】【设】【定】【不】【足】【以】【支】【撑】【什】
【周】【子】【卿】【一】【慌】，【猛】【地】【拍】【了】【一】【下】【自】【己】【的】【脑】【门】，【连】【忙】【追】【了】【上】【去】。 “【琪】【琪】，【琪】【琪】，【你】【听】【我】【解】【释】！” 【他】【现】【在】【的】【首】【要】【目】【的】【就】【是】【搞】【定】【樊】【琪】，【这】【样】【他】【才】【能】【得】【到】【樊】【家】【的】【帮】【助】。 【可】【是】【一】【见】【到】【叶】【不】【语】，【她】【就】【立】【刻】【破】【功】【了】。 【周】【子】【卿】【赶】【紧】【追】【了】【上】【去】，【一】【把】【抱】【住】【了】【樊】【琪】。 “【琪】【琪】，【你】【听】【我】【解】【释】，【刚】【刚】【是】【叶】【不】【语】【纠】【缠】【我】，【我】【已】【经】【拒】【绝】
“【哥】【恩】【男】【爵】？” 【迪】【奎】【基】【子】【爵】【抬】【起】【头】，【撇】【了】【一】【眼】【面】【前】【半】【跪】【在】【地】【上】【的】【恪】【斯】。 “【是】【的】，【大】【人】。” 【恪】【斯】【回】【答】。 “【哼】！【随】【他】【吧】，【只】【要】【没】【什】【么】【奇】【怪】【的】【举】【动】，【他】【想】【自】【称】【哥】【哥】【男】【爵】【都】【行】！” 【迪】【奎】【基】【子】【爵】【继】【续】【数】【着】【桌】【子】【上】【的】【金】【币】，【这】【是】【莱】【昂】【为】【表】【忠】【诚】，【托】【恪】【斯】【送】【来】【的】。 “【你】【说】【他】【和】【魔】【法】【师】【去】【执】【行】【任】【务】【了】，【那】【他】【们】【什】