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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Potomac

Karen Huger Offers Support to Sexual Assault Survivors Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Real Housewives of Potomac cast member shares resources for those who need help while sheltering in place.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Karen Huger Supports Domestic Violence Survivors

Karen Huger shared how we can support survivors of sexual assault, especially in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Black Lives Matter movement, during a conversation with host Shannon Bobo on Instagram Live on Monday, June 15. 

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Karen, who has opened up about being a survivor of sexual assault on The Real Housewives of Potomac, discussed how staying home during this time may not be the safest place for those experiencing abuse. "It has shaken me to the core," Karen said on the Instagram account for PAVE, a national nonprofit that works to stop sexual violence and build communities to support survivors for which she has served as an ambassador. "What if you are to shelter yourself at home, and you're there with your abuser? I think we need to shed a light on that. I think we need to talk about what we can do to help those who are trapped and being abused during the pandemic in their own homes."

In fact, reports of domestic violence increased in many cities amid the coronavirus lockdown, NBC News reported in April.

Karen emphasized the importance of those who have survived sexual assault to share their stories, as she and Shannon did during the discussion. "I'm here to say there is a voice. All we have to do is listen. I think it's having people believe us," Karen said. "They're not alone. We are not alone. We have a community that we can reach out to. When we talk about sexual assault, it's about education."

Part of that education is teaching people about consent from an early age, according to Karen. She also encouraged those who have experienced sexual assault to not be afraid to speak up and to ask for help. Karen shared that you can do so by calling 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which is the number for the National Sexual Assault Hotline, or by visiting PAVE's website at, both of which will "immediately help one feel as though they have someone walking with them through the storm that they are facing," Karen added. "Say something. We're here. Reach out. You're not alone," Karen said. "It could shave off years of blaming yourself for what is not your fault."

Karen also remembered Oluwatoyin Salau, a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter activist who was found dead in Tallahassee, Florida on June 13 after she went missing. Salau had tweeted about being sexually assaulted prior to her disappearance. "She fought for us, and we continue to fight for her," Karen said. "Now we pick up her charge. She did not die in vain."

Karen showed her support for the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing, "We have to address this systemic racism, we have to dismantle it." "This is not a fix that's gonna happen overnight," she added. "We have a long journey ahead of us, and I'm not weary. How about you?"

She applauded her daughter Rayvin for being a part of the protests. "I'm so proud of her," Karen said. "We need everyone helping one another and doing their part in this pandemic and this Black Lives Matter movement because nothing's gonna change if we don't do the work, and we have a lot of work to do."

Karen also recalled having conversations with her eldest child, son Brandon, about interacting with law enforcement. "I am a mother of a Black man, and I remember having to tell my son, 'If you ever are pulled over, I don't want you to question, just put your hands on the dashboard,'" Karen said. "And if you can't understand what I'm saying through this, I hope you feel my pain or the fear I have because I love my son just as much as you love yours."

Karen praised how young people are leading the way to change with the Black Lives Matter movement. "The young generation is amazingly moving this movement forward because they're asking the questions that many have been afraid to ask, and they're getting results," she said. "They are taking this charge, and they are leading it in such a different way, but with the same purpose as Dr. Martin Luther King, to have change come about in a positive way. And I'm very proud of them. I'm proud to do whatever I can to support."

For the latest reporting on the Black Lives Matter protests from NBC News and MSNBC’s worldwide team of correspondents, including a live blog with minute-to-minute updates, visit and NBCBLK.

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