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WWD And Variety Inaugural Stylemakers' Event - Arrivals

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Emmy Award winning actress, Viola Davisrecently went to a very emotional and vulnerable place and it wasn’t for an acting role.

Viola is an advocate for The Stuart House, the latest facility established by The Rape Foundation, an organization which provides an extensive list of services for children throughout Los Angeles who have been victims of sexual abuse.

When Viola’s younger sister was 8 years old, she and a friend roller skated to a convenient store where she was sexually assaulted. Once her mother found out, Viola saw the man being taken away by police and, according to her, “that was it.”

“…from there, a precocious, very intelligent, very creative child grew up to be frail, angry, a drug addict by the time she was 20,” Viola shared. “Six children, all of which have been taken by social services. A prostitute. An IV drug user.”

Viola said that The Stuart House is the result of her answered prayers for her sisters’ well-being. “In my vision, and in my dreams, when I pray for my sister, you pray in general terms,” Viola said.

“You pray that she finds peace and love and happiness, she gets off drugs,” she continued. “And then of course you open your eyes, and you’re like, she’s still on the streets.”

“I wish she had had the Stuart House to throw her a rope, because her whole life could have been different,” Viola said of her now 39-year-old sibling.

“There’s going to be so many testimonies of winning and heroic young people who literally open their mouths and dare to speak about their abuse…We need to show the deep importance of healing from childhood sexual trauma,” she added.

According to Variety, amenities of The Stuart House include 24-hour emergency care and free treatment for child victims and their families, as well as a court school to prepare victims for the judicial process and a training center for first responders in child sexual abuse cases.

In closing her speech, Viola candidly expressed a personal regret about the situation.

“I wish I could tell my sister that she’s not dirty and that she should not feel any shame for something that she literally was not responsible for. I wish I could save her life.”

RELATED STORIES:

It’s On Us: President Obama Teams With Celebrities & You To Stop Sexual Assault

California Governor Signs Historic ‘Yes Means Yes’ Sexual Assault Bill For College Campuses

Jada Pinkett Smith Pushes Women’s Empowerment To Combat Sexual Assault Epidemic

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