Terry Crews testifies before the Senate Judiciary on sexual assault bill
© Greg Nash

Actor Terry Crews on Tuesday testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on sexual assault legislation known as the Survivor's Bill of Rights. 

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"I am honored to use my platform and story to help create additional civil rights protections for survivors across the nation under the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights," Crews said in his opening statement to the committee.  

Crews shared his experience with sexual assault on Twitter last year, revealing that a high-level Hollywood executive groped him.  

Crews's testimony brought several in the hearing to tears. He said his first though to being sexually assaulted at a party in front of his wife was to respond with violence.

“Why weren’t you, you’re a big powerful man? Why didn’t you?” asked Ranking Member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Grassley wants unredacted version of letter from Kavanaugh's accuser Gillibrand: Kavanaugh accuser shouldn't participate in 'sham' hearing MORE (D-Calif.).

“Senator, as a black man in America,” Crews said, “you only have a few shots at success. You only have a few chances to make yourself a valuable part of the community.”

Crews recounted leaving the party and reporting this incident to senior executives at the agency of the man who assaulted him.

“I said ‘this is unacceptable,” Crews recounted.

He asked the agency what they planned to do about the “predator you have roaming the hallways.”

“Then nothing happened,” he told the panel.

“The culture of the time, I believed that nobody would believe me if I went public,” he said.

Crews credited the #MeToo movement with changing the power dynamics in Hollywood and countless other industries.

“The Me Too movement empowered me to tell my story,” he said.

The actor blamed what he called a “cult of masculinity” in Hollywood.

“This behavior is expected as part of the job, this harassment, abuse, even rape, is part of your job description,” he said. “What’s happened to me, has happened to many, many other men.”

Crews also revealed in testimony on Tuesday that a producer for "The Expendables" said if he did not drop his case "there would be trouble." 

He went on to say he would not be a part of the movie because the same producer is “under his own sexual assault investigation, and abusers protect abusers.”

“When you look at the culture with men not holding other men accountable, it turns into something that no one wants: A community that totally looks the other way while men, women, and children are being raped," Crews said. 

Testifying along with Crews was Amanda Nguyen, who drafted the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. Her testimony came a day after she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Price.

Nguyen, who was raped in 2013 at her college campus in Massachusetts, discovered her rape kit would only be held as evidence for 6 months. 

“The crime scene was my body,” said.

Nguyen later started RISE which is dedicated to passing survivors' rights bills around the world.

Because most sexual assaults are litigated at the state level, National success does not ensure protection for victims of sexual assault. 17 states have adopted similar legislation under the direction of RISE.

“In the course of pursuing my own case, I ran into roadblock, after roadblock, and I discovered by path was all too familiar to many,” she said.

Nguyen plans to speak at the United National General Assembly to ensure protection for assault victims around the world.

“The work doesn’t stop here in the halls of the United States Congress. This challenge is global and it is exacerbated by silence of leaders on the world stage,” she said.

“We all have rights to justice.”

This story was updated at 8:02 p.m.