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Exploring the Intersections of #RaceAnd Sexual Violence

By Ali Mailen Perrotto, Contract Liaison at PCAR

Race Forward, the racial justice organization behind the Colorlines blog and the Facing Race Conference, recently released the #RaceAnd video series. This collection of videos discusses the complex ways that issues, experiences, and identities intersect for people of color.

In our work to address sexual violence in Pennsylvania, we recognize that all of our individualsocial identities are overlapping and intersecting. . Race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity all have a profound impact on the risk of experiencing sexual violence. For survivors, this also influences access to the options available for healing, support, and restoration after violence. Anti-oppression work is at the core of the kinds of lasting social change that will ultimately prevent sexual violence.

The mainstream anti-sexual violence movement traditionally has not done a good job of valuing the many identities and voices of the people we hope to serve. Any person who experiences sexual violence has a right to supportive, affirming support in their healing process. Along with our 50 local sexual assault programs in PA, we are slowly building capacity and competency in intersectional anti-oppression work.

The advocates at our sexual assault centers can’t do it alone though. Every person in PA has a role to play in understanding the intersections of race and sexual violence. Viewing and discussing the #RaceAnd video series is a great place to start.

As you view the videos, think about the following questions:

  • What can I do to promote equity and justice in my community?
  • What messages about #RaceAnd do I need to learn and unlearn if I am going to make a difference?
  • What are some of the ways that Race and Sexual Violence intersect?
  • Can you envision a world in which racism and sexual violence do not exist? What does such a world look like to you?

Together we can envision and enact a future where sexual violence and all forms of oppression and marginalization cease to exist. It is a future that is bright. It is a future that we strive toward. Even if you are feeling a little unsure, it does not hurt to take a look. The #RaceAnd series shares the lived experiences of 8 people. We will be using the series to help guide training and internal discussions about the intersections with sexual violence. Where do you see the intersections in your life and work?