Crime Time

Justice for all.

Mo'Nique's Eloquent Acceptance

Those suffering under the horror of abuse should seek help.

"I celebrate this award with all the Preciouses, with all the Marys - I celebrate this award with every person that's ever been touched - it's now time to tell. And it's okay."

These are chilling and memorable words spoken by the actress Mo'Nique, 42, as part of her acceptance remarks and the Golden Globe Awards (she won for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama - Precious). Watch Mo'Nique's Speech

Precious is based on the 1996 novel "Push" by Sapphire and directed by Lee Daniels (Monster's Ball). Precious deals with a young woman in midst of a total breakdown because her parents are molesting her. Mo'Nique plays the character Mary Jones - an evil mother who is mentally ill and tremendously abusive. Mary forces her daughter to perform sex acts on her, along with other horrific acts, including: beating her, making her gorge food, and allowing her husband continue the abuse by raping their daughter, resulting in two pregnancies. Mo'Nique has given an Oscar worthy performance, representing this tragic character, which earned her this early honor in the Golden Globe win.

While playing Mary Jones, Mo'Nique decided to go public with some very private pain and disclosed molestation in her own life. In a 2008 interview with Essence Magazine Mo'Nique admitted that her older brother molested her. Last month in a People interview she said, "I know Mary Jones. I know that monster - that character for me, in my life, was my older brother."

Mo'Nique says her brother molested her four times over the course of four years. The first time he used candy to lure her into the bathroom, where much of the abuse took place later on. The molestation began when Mo'Nique was just seven. She did not disclose it until she was 15-years-old. Mo'Nique shared: "even when I confronted him and told my parents, he said I was lying, and nothing was really done." This, unfortunately, is not uncommon.

Mo'Nique's brother went on to serve 15 years in prison for sexually abusing another girl. He never apologized to Mo'Nique for the sexual abuse. Mo'Nique has forgiven her brother publically for the molestation, but vowed that she will never let the world forget.

Mo'Nique said she believes she had a purpose in participating the in Precious movie: "It's my obligation to let people know, and to tell them to watch their children." In this way Mo'Nique and I have a passion in common.

Hollywood really came through with this movie. It is an important film that raises many necessary questions. I am so glad that Mo'Nique has been recognized for her outstanding work as Mary Jones. Her acting was truly believable; so-much-so that when Mo'Nique herself got up to give her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes I almost hated her (associating her with the character of Mary Jones). But then Mo'Nique began her eloquent speech and I forgot all about Mary Jones and saw only a tremendously talented and worthy actress. She was authentic and humble, qualities that many stars in Hollywood do not possess. The speech was touching and meaningful, and her gratitude was palpable. She obviously had not expected to win (no prepared speech). I was especially moved to know that this woman had suffered her own ordeal with sexual abuse and was able to overcome it.

I hope the fictional story of Precious, and the real-life experiences of Mo'Nique, will inspire those suffering under the horror of abuse to seek help.

Robin Sax is a former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County who specialized in child sexual assault cases. She is the author of Predators and Child Molesters.

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