Surviving R Kelly Documentary Guide

Surviving R Kelly Documentary Guide

In Lifetime’s groundbreaking documentary series Surviving R Kelly, women are emerging from the shadows and uniting their voices to share their stories for what will surely be one of the most talked about television events of the year.

The six-part series is an urgent call to families, communities and all those who touch the lives of young people, as well as to fans and the entertainment industry alike, reminding us all that we must work harder to protect girls and women.

Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B artists of all time, R. Kelly’s genre-defining career has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia. Yet, for nearly three decades, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s history of allegedly abusing underage African American girls has been largely ignored by mainstream media.

Surviving R. Kelly has the potential to change that. For the first time ever, survivors and people from Kelly’s inner circle are coming forward with new allegations of sexual, mental, and physical abuse at his hands.

With over 50 interviews (including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, journalist Toure and ex-wife Andrea Kelly), this docu-series will finally shed light on a secret life the public has never seen.

For The Victims

Self-care begins by making sure you have the things you need to make sure you feel like your best you. Though it can often feel like a luxury or something that one needs to earn, self-care is for everyone! It can be uncomfortable or hard to practice, as it requires one to participate in some level of personal reflection, as well as self-appreciation and love– things that have not always been afforded to survivors, nor Black women and girls.

However, it is important to attempt to engage in acts of self-care as a means of healing and safety. Consumption of disturbing or graphic forms of media can impact a viewer’s physical and mental well-being. As such, we have prepared the tips below to help those who may be triggered by the themes discussed in Surviving R Kelly.

Here are a few suggestions for self-care while viewing this program

  • Be gentle with yourself! It is normal for individuals who have experienced harm to harbor feelings of self-criticism, shame, guilt, and a number of other difficult emotions, particularly while consuming media that centers sexual violence. If this rings true for you, try to identify these feelings as they arise. When do feelings of judgment come up for you and how can you work towards quieting your inner critic? Remember, healing is a non-linear process that looks differently from one person to the next.
  • If you need to take a break or turn away, allow yourself to do so. Watch the docuseries on your own time and press ‘pause’ if needed.
  • Be mindful of trigger warnings during/before shows like this one, as well as your body’s own trigger warnings and reactions.
  • Trust your body’s cues for food and hydration while remaining mindful of stress eating and over consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Identify your sources of support (i.e. trusted family/friends who can hold your story and professional support– therapist, crisis counselor, spiritual counselor, healing practitioners, etc.) and engage them before, during and after viewing this series.
  • Plan out ways to decompress and reground after consuming heavy content; this may mean spending time alone or amongst community, processing out loud, or doing something completely unrelated. Do whatever you need to ease some of the physical, emotional, and psychological tension as it arises.
  • What are the tools and objects in your possession that make you feel more comfortable? Some examples may include sensory toys, pillows or blankets, healing crystals, aromatherapy oils, etc. Keep them close while viewing the docuseries and use them as needed. Read More