The issue of sexual assault has hit home for Jada Pinkett Smith, and she’s speaking out about it.
During a panel promote her upcoming Batman-universe series, “Gotham,” Jada took a moment to comment on how she can relate to the case of a 16-year-girl whose rape went viral on social media.
“My niece was given a date rape drug that weekend,” the actress shared, Us Weekly reports. “She’s 20 years old – thank God nothing happened because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her.”
The “HawthoRNe” star noted that the only reason her niece was safe was because she was surrounded by friends who cared about her and could react quickly when she began to pass out.
Days before she made these statements, Jada threw her support behind the ‘Viral’ rape victim from Houston, also named Jada. The 16-year-old student, was drugged in much the same way that her niece had been.
“This could be you, me, or any woman or girl that we know,” the actress wrote in a post on Facebook earlier this month. “What do we plan to do about this ugly epidemic? #justiceforjada.”
Jada (the actress), who has a 13-year-old daughter named Willow, repeated her concerns at the press event this week. “There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women. We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways,” she asserted.
Since her niece had survived an attempt at sexual assault, Jada has decided that it might be a good idea for Willow to sit down with her big cousin. Jada believes that her daughter might be more receptive to the information if it comes from someone around her own age. “I had my niece sit down with my daughter and a couple of her friends and tell her about that experience,” the “Gotham” star said.
She’s confident that letting Willow have a serious chat with her cousin was a good first step to encouraging the teen to own her identity and find strength in that. Jada explained,”I give her the opportunity to be empowered by having herself first.”
“When you allow a person to be an individual and you allow a person to have power within and have confidence with who they are,” she added, “she’ll never have to look in the eyes of a man and question whether it’s a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ She’s going to be very clear.”
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"