The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence joins our state and national partners in condemning the deplorable acts of terrorism and violence committed by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our hearts are with the families of those who were killed and injured, and with communities who are the targets of hate and violence.
As the state’s coalition of sexual assault crisis services programs, we work every day to build communities free of sexual violence and support people who have been victimized. As individual advocates, many of us are survivors of sexual violence ourselves, and we know first-hand the lasting impacts of violence. We have found ourselves and those we support triggered and re-traumatized by what offenders and rape apologists say to minimize and deny our experiences and the harm that perpetrators inflict on individuals and communities.
Racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia and all forms of bigotry are inextricably linked to sexual violence. Sexual violence is often a tool used to harm both individuals and entire communities, and it works to keep systems of oppression in place. We can not dismantle oppression, nor address any form of violence unless we challenge the institutions and individuals who perpetrate, excuse, or fail to condemn these acts.
We stand in solidarity with People of Color, Jews, Muslims, Immigrants, LGBTQ people and other oppressed communities who are experiencing heightened trauma and fear as acts of violence and hate speech escalate in our country. We take your fears, need for care, and safety seriously. We believe you.
We recognize that many of us have our own work to do as white aspiring allies and co-conspirators to use our privilege to challenge systems of oppression and show up for people of color, and to address systemic and structural racism and oppression within our own organization and the communities we serve.
We call upon ourselves, our partners, white allies and elected officials to take action against racism and bigotry and to join the call of our national partner, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence:
We believe that white supremacists are emboldened by their apologists in the highest levels of our government and that leadership matters. We call on President Trump to cease equating counter-protesters with white supremacists and to divest his administration of any people who have expressed white supremacist views. We additionally call on Congress and governors to take leadership and condemn white supremacy. We call on all white people to strongly engage in ongoing anti-racist efforts, have difficult and necessary conversations, acknowledge white supremacist culture, and speak up.
To learn more about ways to get involved and about upcoming national events including the Jagged Justice call on Monday, August 21 and the March for Black Women on September 30 in Washington D.C., follow the links below:
- We Need Co-Conspirators, Not Allies: How White Americans Can Fight Racism
- Charlottesville is #JaggedJustice by the Women of Color Network
- Black Women’s Blueprint and the March for Black Women
To volunteer at an Alliance member program near you, make a donation, or schedule a prevention or awareness program for your community group or colleagues, visit our website.