Survivors of Sexual Assault React to Bill Cosby Prison Release

Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Survivors of Sexual Assault React to Bill Cosby Prison Release” – below is their description.

Me Too activist Tarana Burke says she’s concerned about how the social media response to Bill Cosby’s release from prison Wednesday impacts sexual assault survivors.

“It was definitely shock first, and I think as the shock settled in and I started seeing some of the commentary coming in … It was just real concern for survivors, who are going to have a hard time sleeping tonight. Who are going to have a hard time being on social media, going to the places where they find some comfort and really finding just mass betrayal,” Burke said in an interview.

Burke pointed to the response by Cosby’s former TV wife, Phylicia Rashad, who said on social media that “a miscarriage of justice is corrected” with his release from prison.

“Those are the things that concern me, because that is about … the way the public thinks. That influences the way the public thinks, and that’s really, really, really important because so many cases don’t get to see the inside of a courtroom. So many people, so many survivors’ lives are turned on the fact that they have to live and work and worship and learn in the spaces where they were harmed,” Burke said.

Burke said the Me Too movement was focused less on legal consequences and more on healing and accountability.

“It’s not a setback for the movement because it’s not a part of our goals, it’s not a part of our journey as a movement to get as many people in jail as possible,” she said. “The only setback I can see related to this is that the healing work that has been done for the many survivors of Cosby and the healing work and the sense of catharsis and post-traumatic growth that came from having some sense of accountability for so many survivors, this will chip away at that. And what is our job in the movement is to help build the growth, is to help these survivors find post-traumatic growth and to find healing.”

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