Women and Adversity: Barbara Bowman, Ambassador for PAVE
Her story of abuse by Bill Cosby
Barbara Bowman was featured in a CNN Special Feb. 24 and explained with details her association with entertainer Bill Cosby. She said in 1985 when she was 17, a model and hopeful actress in Denver, her now-retired agent, Jo Farrell of JF Images, said Cosby was searching for an actress to groom for show business. Bowman was the chosen lucky one.
Sexual assault, drugging, rape and isolation followed. She had hoped to be a big star, but she was a victim of abuse. She stepped forward and agreed to be a witness in a civil law suit Andrea Constand of Temple University instigated in 2005. Constand also accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. The case was settled out of court.
Bowman has become an advocate for women who have suffered sexual abuse and is now an ambassador for PAVE, Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment. At its Web site, www.pavingtheway.net, she says, “My goal as ambassador for PAVE is to help break the code of silence of fear and shame for victims of sexual crimes. I aim to support, educate and help victims of sexual violence find the courage to come forward and tell their story so that their perpetrator might come to justice.”
About two dozen women have accused Cosby of sexual assault while several have gone further and accused him of rape. The difference is that sexual assault can mean groping or touching while rape is penetration. Most of these women have also said Cosby drugged them before the assault or rape occurred. He has never been charged with or arrested for these alleged crimes.
Women must step forward immediately after the crime, so abusers can be prosecuted. Other resources for victims:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE