As we near the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we have recently been taking the opportunity to reflect upon the anti-sexual violence movement and our role within it as activists and supporters. Accordingly, we feel that it is important for us to address the presence of interpersonal violence within activist communities.
We recognize that dating abuse and sexual violence can and do occur within every community, and activist communities are not an exception. Survivors who experience violence within these communities may be discouraged from coming forward because of concerns about damaging public perceptions of the movement or the reputation of other activists. However, the public image of an activist movement should never be prioritized over the safety and integrity of its members. Strong movements cannot be built if they perpetuate the silencing of survivors and allow violence to continue behind closed doors.
To all survivors of sexual violence, we believe you and strive to support you in any way we can. If you decide to turn to us for help or come forward with your story, we will connect you with resources and provide you with support to the best of our ability. Regardless of the circumstances of your experience or who your story implicates, we are here for you.
We believe that it is crucial for activist communities to apply a critical eye to ourselves when advocating for change. Sexual violence is a pervasive problem that spans all identities, settings, and social circles, and we recognize that we bear a grave responsibility, as an organization that combats sexual violence, to recognize the presence of violence within our own communities and continue to fight to end it in any way that we can.