Afton Williamson, star of ABC’s The Rookie, has been in the spot light recently for coming forward with claims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination on the set of The Rookie. A little over a week ago, Williamson laid everything out on an Instagram post. She came forward naming fellow The Rookie star Demetrius Grosse as the man to sexually harass her during filming of the first season of the series. Williamson also spoke of Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich who Willaimson claimed to racially bully her. Williamson came forward about these accusations, but also made herself a voice of those afraid to come forward saying,
“We have a Voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it.”
View this post on Instagram
To my Fans, my Friends, my Supporters: I want to Thank EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. I am so beyond overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, kind words, scriptures, strength filled quotes and devout support that has come my way. One Instagram post is just like those 2 fish and 5 loaves of Bread. The rippling effect it has had in just a few hours shows how much this world is aching with victims of racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse all of it. I am no stranger to all of the above even before this experience. But it is through this experience and my platform that God pushed me to use the power within me. It just takes a VOICE. I never imagined so many of us have experienced these horrible circumstances and that can NO LONGER GO UNHEARD. We have a voice. ALL OF US. It is our DUTY to use it. I used to fear the word Victim. I scoffed at it because all I was told when these injustices happened to me, was to Survive. Survivor I am. Victim I am also. A victim of injustice. A victim of assault. A victim of abuse and harassment. If you have experienced any of the above, you are too and I for one stand with you and I’m no longer afraid to be vocal about it. We Can Stand Together. Let’s Change This Sickness. That Change starts with US. This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse. I was Racially Bullied and Discriminated against and Sexually Assaulted by Hair Department Head Sally Nicole Ciganovich. Let’s BE the CHANGE we WANT to SEE❤️👊🏾🙏🏾
Williamson’s Childhood Trauma
Posting a picture on Instagram of Maya Angelou’s book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Williamson spoke about the abuse she experienced during her childhood. She told about being abused by a babysitter when she was six years old. She told her parents about the abuse, but was sent back to the babysitter the following day. Williamson discusses the constant abuse she has endured throughout her life including abusive relationships and multiple rapes that occurred during her life. She reveals the her struggles with PTSD and thoughts of suicide, but continues her fight.
“I was sexually abused at a babysitters home when I was 6 years old.I told.I was sent back the next day.I was abused for the next 4 years. At 13, I started losing my hair to PTSD.So I shaved my head.That’s how I entered highschool.I was terrified but I was strong.”
Although she has endured much pain and suffering in her past, Williamson continues to be an advocate for those abused. She is an example that being a victim doesn’t make a person weak. Through all of her pain, Williamson continues to show she is a fighter and a woman that other women can look up to.
“It was during these 4 years that God spoke to me.Told me who I was.Showed me what I would become.The isolation of being different pushed me so close to Him it was just the 2 of us.He told me I had to fight. So I did.I fought to get out of Toledo. I fought to get into college. I fought in college for myself and all the future black women in that Theatre, as I was the only one.I fought to break ground and change history.I fought in grad school. The only black face of 16 students at a classical conservatory in Alabama. “
As Williamson has done once before, she left the reader with some inspiring words.
“May My Truth be a Light. A path to Yours.”
View this post on Instagram
I was sexually abused at a babysitters home when I was 6 years old.I told.I was sent back the next day.I was abused for the next 4 years. At 13, I started losing my hair to PTSD.So I shaved my head.That’s how I entered highschool.I was terrified but I was strong.It was during these 4 years that God spoke to me.Told me who I was.Showed me what I would become.The isolation of being different pushed me so close to Him it was just the 2 of us.He told me I had to fight. So I did.I fought to get out of Toledo. I fought to get into college. I fought in college for myself and all the future black women in that Theatre, as I was the only one.I fought to break ground and change history.I fought in grad school. The only black face of 16 students at a classical conservatory in Alabama. Over the years as I was fighting everything and everyone it seemed, I had to fight my past. My present.The abuse never stopped.Abusive relationships,toxic friendships, multiple rapes: the last one 3wks before college graduation, a guy I called “friend.”I grew more and more successful and thought the pain was gone.It was ever present, 20yr battle with Bulimia,suicide attempt; wrist tattoos to celebrate 10yrs of no cutting.I never felt pretty.I never felt good.I never had peace.Until now. Abuse is a devil that robs us of our True Identity. It is a Liar. It is in my recovery from all of the pain and brokenness that I am walking in my Truth. God reminded me that I have been assigned a Tribe.A Tribe of Survivors.I owe you my Truth. To whom much is given, much is required.I am Free. May My Truth be a Light. A path to Yours. ❤️Afton
Afton Williamson’s time on The Rookie may have come to an end. But she is continuing to be a leader for the many women who are all in the battle together.
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