CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- Author, actor, and activist Terry Crews and his wife Rebecca traveled across South Korea speaking with U.S. troops, civilians, and their Family members about their story of resilience and encouraging victim advocacy, May 28-31.
The Eighth Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) office hosted the Crews' four-day speaking tour to raise awareness and reduce social stigma victims may perceive.
"What I love about the Army is the fact that they brought us in to talk about things that were never, ever going to be talked about before," said Terry Crews. "It shows that this is a new day and that the people here care."
The couple spoke candidly about the effects of culturally-accepted, toxic lessons observed in childhood that negatively impacted their nearly 30-year marriage, and how Terry's being sexually assaulted at a Hollywood party rocked their family to its core and subsequently changed the course of their lives.
Audiences at Camp Casey, the Joint Security Area, Camp Carroll, Camp Henry, Camp Humphreys, Osan Air Force Base and Yongsan Army Base listened intently as the Crews couple discussed how distorted beliefs can lead to dehumanization, abuse, and sometimes even give way to predatory behaviors that are indicative of assault and harassment.
"The stigma has always been that somehow inherently you are weak if you admit that something has happened to you, that you have been victimized," said Terry. "People were saying to me you're too big to be assaulted, you're too big to have that happen to you; that's like saying a building is too big to be robbed."
The duo vehemently emphasized the importance of victims coming forward and speaking their truth.
"What they expect is for you to hide and be ashamed," said Rebecca. "That refusal on the part of the victim to take the shame is very keen. The power of standing up for what is right is greater than what it just might cost us."
Statistics show that more than 60 percent of victims never report their injustice. The reporting rate is even lower for males.
Terry spoke of having the courage to not only report the crime, but to also begin the recovery process and become whole again. "Most of the time justice is very, very evasive," said Terry Crews. "Justice is not the only thing; you need freedom."
Many audience members gained new insight on sexual assault and how they can be an advocate for change within their respective organizations.
"I was originally excited to hear from him and as the talks went on, I learned a lot more about myself and things that pertain to my relationships," said Pfc. Joe Solis, Dallas, intelligence analyst, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. "It was a real eye opener and I will definitely share this knowledge with my peers in my unit."
During the tour, the couple engaged several thousand Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and civilians, and emphasized the importance of overcoming victimhood and making perpetrators accountable.
"We hope that Soldiers, civilians, and family members were inspired, motivated and empowered by the Crews' story," said Dr. Hai-Wen Chu, Eighth Army SHARP program manager. "Our goal is to utilize their journey as positive momentum to raise community awareness and achieved cultural change."
For high-resolution imagery about this event, visit the 2ID/RUCD Flickr and DVIDS pages:
210th FAB https://www.flickr.com/photos/159579021@N05/sets/72157708795517126
DVIDS Links https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/2ID