ENTERTAINMENT
21/01/2018 12:55 SAST

Viola Davis Gives Powerful Speech On Sexual Harassment And #MeToo At Los Angeles Women’s March

"I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless."

One year on from President Donald Trump’s inauguration, people took to the streets in the States for a second women’s march on Saturday (20 January), where a number of famous faces made their thoughts on the past 12 months known.

In Los Angeles, the hundreds of thousands of marchers were addressed by activists, politicians and famous faces, with one of the most powerful speeches of the day coming from Oscar-winner Viola Davis.

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Viola Davis on stage in LA's Pershing Square

The ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ actress spoke passionately and after opening her time at the podium with a quote from Malcolm X, Viola referenced the #MeToo movement, which has dominated conversations in, and about,  Hollywood in recent months.

“I am speaking today, not just for the Me Toos, because I was a Me Too,” she said. “But when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence. The women who are faceless.

“The women who don’t have the money and who don’t have the constitution and who don’t have the confidence, and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break the silence that’s rooted in the shame of assault, that’s rooted in the stigma of assault.”

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Viola Davis

“I am always introduced as an award-winning actor,” Viola continued. “But my testimony is one of poverty. My testimony is one of being sexually assaulted and very much seeing a childhood that was robbed from me.

“And I know that every single day, when I think of that, I know that the trauma of those events are still with me today.

“And that’s what drives me to the voting booth. That’s what allows me to listen to the women who are still in silence.”

Adele was one of the many celebrities who held placards and walked the streets of LA as part of the march and the British star shared a picture of herself, Jennifer Lawrence and Cameron Diaz on Instagram.

Underneath it, she wrote: “The most influential people in my life have always been women. My family, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues, and my idols. I am obsessed with all the women in my life.

A post shared by Adele (@adele) on

“I adore them and need them more and more every day. I am so grateful to be a woman, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I hope I’m not only defined by my gender though.

“I hope I’m defined by my input to the world, my ability to love and to have empathy. To raise my son to be a a good man alongside the good man who loves me for everything I am and am not.

“I want what’s best for people, I think we all do. We just can’t agree on what that is. Power to the peaceful, power to the people.”