Harrisburg, PA – It is vital that we hold those who commit sexual harassment, abuse, and assault accountable, regardless of their power, fame, or wealth. After the extensive documentation of abuses inflicted on Black girls and women by R. Kelly, NSVRC is pleased to learn that he is facing criminal charges for some of this conduct.
This case is a reminder that we must listen to and believe the accounts of Black women and girls, who experience sexual violence at higher rates than other groups of women but are often disbelieved and face systemic barriers rooted in oppression.
It is also important to be mindful of the language used when discussing the footage that in part led to these charges. The appropriate way to refer to this is video evidence of Kelly sexually assaulting a minor. Recognizing that legally, a minor cannot consent to any sexual activity, this footage is not a “sex tape,” nor a “having sex with a minor” but rather evidence of a crime.