Viola Davis showed up and spoke up at the women's march in Los Angeles Saturday, and delivered a searing speech that denounced sexual assault and mentioned the names of black women who have been victims of it.
Davis, who has been a part of Hollywood's sweeping #MeToo movement, stood firmly onstage at the rally on Saturday to speak the names of women like Recy Taylor and Tarana Burke.
"In 1877, America, put laws in place called the Jim Crow laws," Davis said at the march. "It told us that we were less than and it came on the heels of the 13th amendment."
"And like the originators, the Fannie Lou Hamers, the Recy Taylors… to the Tarana Burkes, to the first women to speak out, it cost them something," she added. "Nothing and no one can be great without a cost. I am always introduced as an award-winning actor, but my testimony is one of poverty, of one being assaulted, seeing a childhood that was robbed from me. I know that every single day when I think of that, I know the trauma of those events are still with me today."
In her speech, Davis talked about the need to speak up against sexual assault and to include all the women who have fallen victim to it.
"One out of every 5 women will be sexually assaulted and raped before she reaches the age of 18, one out of six boys" she said. "If you are a woman of color and you are raped beefore the age of 18, then you are 66% percent more likely to be sexually assault again. 70 percent of girls who are sex-trafficked are girls of color."
She went on to talk about the obstacles of women who may still feel silenced and unseen as well as her commitment to help speak up on their behalf.
"The women who are faceless. The women who don't have the money and don't have the constitution and who don't have the confidence and who don't have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence, that is rooted in the shame of assault and rooted in the stigma of assault," she added.
"I stand in solidarity with all women who raised their hands because I know that it was not easy…My hope for the future is that we never go back."
This post was originally published on Blavity.