R. Kelly Victim Jerhonda Pace Issues Strong Message to Trolls After Verdict
For the victims of disgraced singer R. Kelly, the trial — where they exposed decades of sexual and physical abuse — ended up causing them even more pain.
That’s because many of them were the target of endless trolling and abuse from Kelly’s fans. According to Insider, the father of one of the victims, named Charles, took the stand and told Kelly he wanted the constant harassment of his daughter from his fans to stop.
“So many people love you. They hate us,” Charles said. “They say awful things about my daughter because they love you and hate us.”
When justice was served at last, one of Kelly’s accusers would rise to give strength to his victims and grief to their haters.
How a Brave Woman Gave R. Kelly’s Victims Strength
Kelly’s guilty verdict of crimes including kidnapping and sex trafficking meant more than justice for Jerhonda Pace. It meant putting Kelly’s tormenting fans behind her.
She recalled the cruel trolls in an Instagram post following the verdict. “For years, I was trolled for speaking out about the abuse that I suffered at the hands of that predator. People called me a liar and said I had no proof. Some even said I was speaking out for money.”
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With the verdict, the 28-year-old Pace — just sixteen when she was sexually and physically abused by Kelly, felt her “voice was heard,” and had inspiring words for others like her.
I am happy to FINALLY close this chapter of my life. No matter what you think of me or how you feel about things; today, I MADE HISTORY. I wanna see you be brave.
The Producer of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Praises the Strong Women
Someone who knows firsthand about Pace’s pain is Dream Hampton. The executive producer’s documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly‘ was a success in bringing his victim’s voices to mainstream media.
In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, she spoke of having to increase physical and online security to protect the victims from Kelly’s supporters.
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She spoke in awe of the women who “spoke through tears, through terror, beneath hot lights and for the hours it requires to make television.”
Now that the lights are off, Hampton says it is time to heal and build resilience. “Every single one of Kelly’s survivors, of all genders, could use a fund making decades of therapy possible,” she said.
How One Woman Proved the Importance of Breaking the Silence
Pace said she hopes that her voice is motivation to others who’ve stayed quiet for so long.
“Me speaking out caused a domino effect and so many people came forward. There are still some people that haven’t come forward. I’m so grateful to be a voice for those who didn’t have the courage,” she stated.
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According to safeatlast.co, a person is sexually assaulted in the U.S every 68 seconds. However, only 1 in 3 victims report it. In the end, it’s silence that keeps the vicious cycle going.
One ripple in the water can make waves. With strong voices like Pace stepping from out of the shadows, so will many other women like her. And when they unite, they are powerful.
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