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SEXUAL ABUSE
How #MeToo Entered The Voice-Over World:
'I Have Never Felt So Empowered!'

February 9, 2018

By John Florian
VoiceOverXtra
See 16 Women Accuse Voice Actor-Coach Peter Rofé of Sexually Harassing Them
See Peter Rofe's Accusers Advise ...

Revealing to your family, your friends and professional colleagues that you have been sexually abused - and are ashamed and terrified of the consequences - is a gut-wrenching decision.

Voice actor Heather Costa (CNN photo) says she was "a teary mess but emboldened" when a CNN article appeared on February 8, in which she and other women shared how voice actor/coach/producer Peter Rofé had sexually abused them over the past 18 years.

For Costa, the incidents of abuse from Rofé in 2008 and 2009 "iced" the early portion of her career. She feared revenge from Rofé after rejecting his lurid advances.

Costa has since become a well-known and popular voice talent. And today she shares more of the journey that led her and others to tell their stories. Their mission is to warn women "and give others the strength to come forward."

Rofé "ended the careers of so many because they didn't want to pursue VO after he assaulted them," Costa says.

"We can't let him hurt anyone else. He is sick, and his actions have been awful and he needs help. Hopefully, when he can't hide anymore, he will get it."

NOT 'THE ONLY ONE'

Costa tells how the #MeToo movement entered the voice-over world:
For many years I thought I was the only one he had done it to. I was terrified, embarrassed, and as you can imagine, incredibly upset.

A few years back another woman approached me about him and said that it happened to her, too, and that there was a third woman! So I knew at that time that there were three of us.

We went to lawyers, but no one would do anything because we were outside the statute of limitations, and we were told that our group was too small to make an impact.

But I started building up the courage little by little to share this with close friends in voice-over, especially those in NY, in hopes that they could confidentially start warning other women.

I was terrified to do anything more, for fear that he'd come after me.

Then #MeToo happened and Elizabeth Laime posted in an LA mom's Facebook group about a NY voice-over coach sexually assaulting her. A mutual voice-over friend saw that post, asked the woman if she could share it in a VO Facebook group and I saw it!

As you can imagine, I was beside myself. I contacted Elizabeth immediately and the days that followed were the most emotional, empowering, all-consuming days.

Through that, other women started coming forward - privately - and we formed a group.

Now, here we are, a few months later, and over 30 women have confidentially come forward, who were also sexually assaulted by Peter Rofé. We know there are more out there. The dates that we know of go back to 1999.

We have been working with a detective and a lawyer, but unfortunately, the statute of limitations has expired to press charges on these incidents.

Our hope is not only to warn women, but also to give strength to women who have been too scared to come forward.

We know that there must be at least one person out there who is within the statute of limitations. One day charges WILL be filed against him, and we will be there to support it!

For me personally, Rofé set my career back a few years. I didn't go to anything, terrified that I would see him at a conference, in an audition, at a workshop, anywhere!!! I was terrified that he had bad-mouthed me to the industry, that what happened was my fault. It was awful.

For years I would spiral downward whenever something about this came up. I'd get really upset again, then I'd be stronger and tell another person or two, and then bury it back down.

Well, not anymore. I am done being silent. Thanks to these incredible women, I have never felt so empowered!
Note to readers: To confidentially share an experience or question, you are invited to contact voiceoverjusticeclub@gmail.com.

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Comments (4)
Bruce
2/13/2018 at 12:51 PM
As a husband, father of two daughters, and grandfather to 5 granddaughters, I applaud the courage of women to come forward, tell their stories, and to create a seismic cultural shift with regards to reporting and our societal response to sexual harassment and abuse. Sexual harassment and abuse is about power and control, which humiliates the victim and shatters lives. The quality of our society is measured by how well we protect the most vulnerable members. I encourage women to continue to find their voice and feel their strength.
Susan Bernard
2/9/2018 at 6:01 PM
So maddening, so sick. I hope Peter Rofe realizes his days are numbered and EVERYTHING he has built as his profession and his legacy are now just a useless sham. He will NEVER be able to excuse his horrible, despicable actions. He will not be respected ever again for all the inappropriate crimes he has commited.

Thank you to Heather and Elizabeth for speaking up and speaking out. These ladies are courageous and strong and I'm grateful for their actions now so that we can be vigilant and know better.
LadyWarriorJess
2/9/2018 at 5:40 PM
That's Horrible, Heather- Absolutely Terrible.
This is just awful, especially since it delayed your awesome.

I freaked out a bit since we went to the same High School. I thought you were going to announce that you were also attacked there like I was. You will get justice just like I will. All we can do at this point is be open and honest and hopefully prevent the next victims from even crossing their paths.

Xoxo
Jess Palliser
(Collesides)
Rick Lance
2/9/2018 at 5:32 PM
Hope you don't mind me sharing this article on my Facebook Business page... Rick Lance Studio.
If you, John, or Heather do NOT want me to share it, please contact at rick@ricklancestudio.com

This stuff has to stop! Maybe reposting will do some good.

Thanks!
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