Victim Advocates Applaud New Charges Against R. Kelly

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Advocates for survivors of sexual abuse are applauding the indictment of R. Kelly.

The charges against Kelly follow years of accusations that the singer preyed on young women and underage girls. 

Sarah Beuning, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said it's a positive step for victims who see other victims being believed and getting a chance to see justice served.

Erin Walton is the executive director of Resilience, a rape crisis center in Chicago. 

She hopes the case against Kelly clears up what she believes is a common misconception: that minors are in a position to consent to sex.

Walton is optimistic the charges are getting people to listen to victims of sex abuse and to believe them, which will encourage more of victims to come forward. 

Both women agree that an upcoming high-profile may re-traumatize victims, many of whom they say choose not to come forward out of fear that they'll be harassed, doubted and vilified.

Kelly, a Chicago native and R & B recording artist, was acquitted of child-pornography charges in 2008. Cook County prosecutors last week charged him with sexual abuse after a docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly," renewed interest in allegations against the singer.