When People We Know Hurt Us

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Julie, a SACHA volunteer, sent us this Black Girl Dangerous article – I Was Sexually Assaulted By Someone I Thought Was A Feminist And An Ally.

It took years of therapy before I could even acknowledge my betrayal and violation at the hands of a so-called “radical” man.  As a survivor of domestic abuse, I was accustomed to explicit and obvious forms of violence.  I didn’t expect it from someone who shared my commitment to working against it.  Another part of the challenge was my being in the academy, a place that valorizes men who preach feminism while exerting their masculine power.  This combined with the almost total absence of structural consequences for sexual assault made admitting my victimization almost impossible.

Julie writes:

I think this article is important because the writer offers an example of why the personal needs to be political.  Too often, we respect people’s public politics and are then horrified to find out what our political allies do in their private lives.  People who are from marginalized groups might feel like they have to choose their battles and not focus on gender at times, but I think this is a good reminder that all oppressions need to be righted together.

The author sharing her story of sexual assault reminded me again about how rape is about power not about sexual attraction.  And also that this violence is systemic.

It’s really worth reading the whole article!  At the end the author has some suggestions about how we can end sexual violence in our communities.

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The book ‘The Revolution Starts at Home’ is a really good resource for ending violence in activist communities.

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