Voices of Hope joins millions around the United States and world in stating that Black Lives Matter. We condemn the historical and systemic violence perpetrated against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in our nation, which has most recently manifested as police brutality and “vigilante justice” resulting in the murders of James Scurlock, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other black individuals.
As Voices of Hope works diligently to fight gender-based violence and rape culture, we remain committed to keeping intersectionality at the forefront of our work. Rape culture spans to countless other facets of inequality and systems of oppression. Racism and white supremacy are one of the primary causes of sexual and relationship violence, as are all other forms of oppression.
Tori Vandelinde describes this connection in Understanding Racism and its Connection to Sexual and Domestic Violence. “This includes the disproportionate rates of violence people of color experience, how the criminal justice system mass incarcerates and punishes more harshly people of color than white people, and how the movement to end sexual and domestic violence replicates oppression, power imbalances, and racism within mainstream and other organizations, to name a few.”
We cannot eradicate gender-based violence by only eliminating sexism.
We commit as an organization to continually unlearning racism and challenging our conscious and unconscious complicity in white supremacy in our organization and community by:
- Hosting monthly conversations and trainings for our staff critically examining race and other forms of oppression that impact sexual and relationship violence
- Amplifying the voices of BIPOC who are doing antiviolence work
- Exploring and understanding the full scope of options our clients have to address the harm they’ve experienced, including options outside of the criminal justice system such as community-based transformative justice interventions
You may direct your questions about accountability for these commitments to our executive director, Marcee Metzger.