February 21, 2019 1:16 am
Updated: February 21, 2019 2:13 am

Terry Crews speaks in Edmonton about men’s role in preventing violence

WATCH ABOVE: Terry Crews was in Edmonton Wednesday, talking at an event put on by the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters. He said the #MeToo movement paved the way for him -- and other men -- to share his story.

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Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews was in Edmonton on Wednesday night, speaking at an event put on by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.

Crews is known as one of the “silence breakers” of the #MeToo movement, after publicly sharing his story of sexual abuse. He’s an activist who speaks about the role men can play in creating a safer world for women and girls.

“I [was] seeing a lot of different things that need to be addressed,” he said. “And what’s wild is I looked around and was like, ‘Who’s going to talk about this?’ And it was just me standing there. So I said, ‘Wow, I guess it’s got to be me.”

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“Over the last few years, I find this to be my purpose. I find it to be much more valuable than any movie I could ever do, any TV show, any book I could write.”

READ MORE: Terry Crews names alleged sexual abuser: ‘I have never felt more emasculated’

In December 2017, Crews filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court stating that he was subjected to sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender violence and emotional distress during and after a February 2016 incident in which he said he was repeatedly groped by a talent executive.

The lawsuit recounted Crews’ allegations that Adam Venit groped him at a Hollywood party and detailed the actor’s efforts to see Venit disciplined after the incident.

The two settled the lawsuit in September 2018.

READ MORE: Terry Crews confronts DL Hughley for mocking his sexual assault case

Crews spoke to a group of about 1,000 people at the Edmonton Convention Centre. Prior to the event, he sat down for a question and answer session with the media, during which he covered a wide range of topics.

He recalled a party he attended shortly after going public with his story, saying it was like the room split in two. He said some people ran toward him while others looked him in the eye and walked away.

“I was like OK, this is what women go through.”

READ MORE: Terry Crews talks masculinity, accountability in Calgary

Crews said his goal isn’t to preach to anyone, nor is it to encourage people to share their stories publicly. He said it’s all about encouraging people to do what’s best for themselves.

“The things that we’re talking about tonight are changing lives daily. People are coming out of the dark, people are being free.”

Watch below: Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews was in Edmonton, speaking to more than 1,000 people in support of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.

Jan Reimer, the executive director of the ACWS, said Crews speaks with passion and honesty, and his message is inspiring.

“His whole point [is] that he’s not speaking for women, he’s speaking to men and how men can change, that they can do things to make a difference,” she said.

“He does it in a way that I think can really inspire men to look at how they can be the very best they can be and make a difference in the lives of women and girls.”

Crews was one of the people recognized by Time Magazine in 2017 when the publication named “The Silence Breakers” — those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment — Person of the Year.

All proceeds from the event went to the ACWS.

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