Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis will lend her voice to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault by hosting the annual brunch to benefit the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.
The brunch will be held at Greenacres, the home of Ron Burkle, in Beverly Hills on Sunday, October 14. The event will honor American television icon writer and producer Norman Lear while spotlighting the RTC’s national leadership in advancing the care of rape victims and sexually abused children, establishing model prevention programs, advocating for victims’ rights, and changing the nation’s consciousness about rape.
This year, the RTC has continued its leadership in the treatment of children who are victims of sexual abuse. Through its partnership with LAPD and other law enforcement agencies in training child abuse investigators, Stuart House, the RTC’s internationally recognized facility serving child victims, offers state-of-the-art forensic interview specialists to assist law enforcement.
Viola Davis’ work with the Rape Treatment Center arose from her portrayal of a rape victim counselor in the film “Trust,” directed by David Schwimmer, who serves on the board of The Rape Foundation. Davis spent time at the Rape Treatment Center and collaborated with the staff in preparation for her role in the film.
Event honoree Norman Lear is a pioneering male voice advocating for victims of rape. His contributions began in 1977 when he created an unforgettable episode of All in the Family in which the beloved character, Edith Bunker, was confronted by a rapist. The Emmy Award-winning, one-hour special, “Edith’s 50th Birthday,” reached forty million people and forever changed the nation’s consciousness about rape.
Norman continues to stand up for rape victims, lending his voice and talents as a dedicated Rape Treatment Center Board member. He has taken the stage at countless events to educate and raise money for RTC services and programs. He also helped build Stuart House, the Rape Treatment Center’s model program for child victims. His guidance and example have been invaluable in changing discriminatory attitudes towards rape victims and inspired other men to stand up.
“We are honored by the participation of Viola Davis and Norman Lear in our work. Their passionate advocacy and activism shine light on the issues of rape and child sexual abuse that for too long have been kept in the shadows. With one in four girls and one in six boys sexually abused before they reach eighteen years of age, these issues need to be at the forefront of public awareness and concern,” Gail Abarbanel, Director, Rape Treatment Center