Flint's Terry Crews tackling stigma of men and sexual assault

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SAGINAW (WJRT) - (06/27/18) - Flint native Terry Crews was trolled online following his raw testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

Those reactions prompted people to come to his defense and address the stigma surrounding men and sexual assault.

"I was sexually assaulted by a successful Hollywood agent," Crews said.

Crews painted a graphic picture of sexual assault reportedly at the hands of an agent during a 2016 party the actor attended with his wife.

"I'm not a small or insecure man but in that moment and in the time following I never felt more emasculated," Crews said.

When asked by one senator why he didn't defend himself, Crews said, “Senator, as a black man in America, you only have a few shots at success. You only have a few chances to make yourself a viable member of the community,” he said. “I’m from Flint, Michigan. I have seen many, many young black men who were provoked into violence, and they were in prison, or they were killed. And they’re not here,” Crews said fighting back tears.

Rapper 50 Cent mocked Crews on Instagram in a now deleted post for not standing up for himself.

The rapper's post read: "LOL, What the **** is going on out here man? Terry: I froze in fear, they would have had to take me to jail. Get out the strap."

"Men within our culture are held to a certain standard. They're supposed to be powerful. They're supposed to be influential. They're supposed to be able to fight these types of things off," said Allie Martinez, Community Engagement Manager of Underground Railroad, Inc.

Underground Railroad advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Martinez appreciates that Crews is fighting the stigma by coming forward and being active.

"On a local level we here at Underground Railroad serve far less men than we do women," Martinez said.

While their services absolutely extend to me, too, Martinez believes it's going to take more men like Terry Crews coming forward to make them feel more comfortable in reporting sexual assault crimes.

"The Me Too movement has created a lot of safety where women now finally feel if they come forward they'll be believed and we need to do that same thing for men," Martinez said.

Crews' testimony Tuesday was in support of the Sexual Assault Survivor's Bill of Rights, which offers a number of protections for survivors.

Check out this link for more information on Underground Railroad, Inc.

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