Over the past year the issue of sexual violence, harassment and assault has captured headlines as millions of survivors have come forward to speak out about their experiences, demanding change. While this is a sign that we have come a long way as a society and our responses to sexual violence, there is still a whole sector of marginalized survivors who go unheard.
The assumption is that sexual violence can only be perpetrated by an individual, and its not recognized as something that happens at a structural level. There are communities that go ignored for years with no access to resources, and the root cause of why this happens is race, class, gender, immigration status, access to housing, and social upbringing.
The other reality is that at times when victims from marginalized communities make the brave step to protect themselves by seeking justice, they are often exposed to further trauma and even punishment, and suffer additional consequences. From being detained, incarcerated, deported, and even are denied the proper support and help they need.
We need to work together to transform our current systems and build safe and healthy communities where people can live with dignity and respect. We need to create spaces where ALL survivors are believed and heard regardless of who they are, where they come from or how much money they may or may not have. As a movement we must acknowledge that we don’t live in a post racial and classless society. We must be committed to amplifying the experiences of marginalized victims, survivors and communities.
This is what we strive for at Peace Over Violence (POV). For us, solidarity begins by seeing and hearing everyone who has been victimized, including those whose voices aren’t necessarily heard. Solidarity happens when rape crisis centers offer free support and opportunities for healing. POV has been offering free services and violence prevention education marginalized communities of all backgrounds for over 47 years. In addition to this, we are constantly assessing our work and transforming.
We gathered some statistics to help you better understand how communities experience trauma, reporting sexual violence and accessing resources differently.
Violence doesn’t happen in silos and injustice are interconnected. POV invites you to not just gear up with a purpose, but with solidarity. Will you join us on Denim Day on April 25th, and advocate for all survivors?
• The Department of Justice estimates that for every white woman that reports her rape, at least 5 white women do not report theirs; and yet, for every African-American woman that reports her rape, at least 15 African-American women do not report theirs. – Via Forbes
• While 80% of rapes are reported by white women, women of color are more likely to be assaulted than white women. – Via endcampusrape.org
• While there are approximately 17,000 rape crisis centers in the United States, there are less than 5 rape crisis programs that cater to sexual assault survivors in any Native community, this is despite the increases in violence due to poverty. – Via sapac.umich.edu
• 48% of Latinas in one study reported that their partner’s violence against them had increased since they immigrated to the U.S – Via DOJ
• Out of 1,224 sexual abuse complains that took place inside immigration detention centers from 2010 to 2017, only 43 have been investigated – Via The Intercept
• 12 percent of transgender youth report being sexually assaulted in K–12 settings by peers or educational staff – Via Thetaskforce.org
• People with a household income under $7,500 are 12 times more likely to report instances of sexual assault or rape than people with a household income over $75,000. – Via qz
• Undocumented women face unique struggles in seeking justice and protection from perpetrators of sexual violence. In addition to the stigma attached to reporting and the fear that they won’t be believed, they also face the threat of deportation for themselves or their families if they file a report with a law enforcement agency. – Via Frontline
• A study on workplace harassment in fast food found that 33 percent of black women and 32 percent of Latinas in fast-food restaurants experienced sexual harassment, compared to 25 percent of white women. – Via hartresearch
• 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives. (Brown and Bassuk, 1997) -Via vawnet.org