The Turning Point Rape Crisis Center considers racial justice a key component to ending sexual violence. Our organization has a 37- year history of serving those impacted by sexual violence in our community and as such, have advocated for survivors against what has been an acceptable victimization and devaluation of women and vulnerable populations. For decades, as we have stood beside and believed survivors of sexual violence, we have endeavored to educate the population of the risk factors that lead to all forms of violence so now, we stand beside all persons of color who have been systemically devalued, oppressed and victimized by the vary systems that purpose to serve and protect us all.
Sommerville (2004) discussed how common it was for members of white supremacy groups to gang rape Black women. She also discussed problematic laws that failed to provide equal protection for people of color. In some states, rape was only considered a crime if the victim was a White woman. As a nation, we would like to believe that these times of intense racial discrimination are behind us, but that is not the case. Still today we see the aftereffects of discrimination cemented in our legal structures because of a foundation built during slavery and Jim Crow.
Today, as a community and a country, we must recognize the truths and put down our prejudices, fears, and egos, and recognize that a transformation in our systems and country must happen and happen now. Even if we do not or cannot understand the challenges and struggles of people of color, we can still empathize and believe that their life experiences are vastly different than those of us blessed with the white privilege we did not earn, but were born into and for whom so many take for granted.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Sommerville, D. M. (2004). Rape and race in the nineteenth- century South. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Racism & Sexual Violence: What's the Connection? (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape). Retrieved June 23, 2020, from https://pcar.org/resource/racism-sexual-violence-whats-connection-1