A large non-profit is calling out the music industry in the wake of a revealing documentary exposing R. Kelly.
One of the nation’s largest nonprofits focused on the treatment and prevention of child abuse is calling on the U.S. music industry to do more to combat child abuse and sexual assault.
In the wake of the powerful Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” music industry leaders RCA, Sony and well-known R. Kelly music collaborators – including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper – have begun to take steps to break ties with R. Kelly.
But the documentary includes troubling allegations that suggest the abuse may have been ignored and enabled for decades.
It is clear more action by the industry is needed.
“This is an important moment for the music industry to speak out and stand together against child abuse. It is also an opportunity to better understand and address sexual assault and abuse.” – Rebecca Cooper – Childhelp National Spokesperson in a letter sent to music industry leaders, artists and executives through the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
“It’s not enough to condemn abusive behavior. As an industry – and as a nation – we have to do more to stop abuse from occurring and from being ignored,” Rebecca Cooper said.
Childhelp is the nation’s oldest and largest organization working to prevent and treat child abuse and has served millions of children across the U.S. since founders Yvonne Fedderson and Sara O’Meara began to uncover this hidden epidemic in 1959.
“The attention generated by ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ is an important opportunity for music industry leaders to help us get the word out that anyone can break the cycle of abuse and quite possibly save a life,” Childhelp Co-Founder and CEO Sara O’Meara said. “No matter how powerful the perpetrator, child abuse can never be tolerated or ignored.”
The latest statistics show a suspected incident of child abuse is reported every ten seconds on average in the United States, but an overwhelming number of cases go ignored and unreported.
Childhelp urges anyone who knows or suspects an incident of child abuse to call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD / 1-800-422-4453).
The hotline is staffed 24/7 by professional crisis counselors who can provide guidance on reporting abuse, identify local community resources and services, and answer any questions about the topic.
Childhelp is calling on music industry leaders to take two key steps, which are described in depth in the letter.
1. Use the music industry’s public platforms to encourage reporting of suspected abuse;
2. Mandate industry-wide child abuse prevention training to identify and report abuse.
“We applaud these brave women and the documentary filmmakers for shining a spotlight on child abuse and sexual assault, and we commend those who are now saying abusive behavior has no place in the music business – or anywhere,” O’Meara said. “But more action is needed. The music industry can and should be a leader in helping us educate the public and provide resources for addressing child abuse.”