The following call to action is from human rights advocate Monica Jones. Find her on Facebook and twitter to follow this call to action:
There is a tragedy that happened. 13 black women of African descent were sexually assaulted by white police officer Daniel Holtzclaw. This monster is on trial and being judged by a jury of his peers, a jury of 8 white men and 4 white women. His attorney has described him as an “all-American good guy” and said his accusers have “street smarts like you can’t imagine.”
What does this disparaging statement about having “street smarts” really mean?
The women he targeted were marginalized, many had been arrested before and had been charged with doing sex work and/or with using or having drugs. His method of finding victims was based on finding women who had these kinds of charges, this is the reason he chose them.
One of his victims said that reason she did not come forward was because “I didn’t think anyone would believe me.” Most of the 13 women said the same thing. That no one would believe them.
This is the reason why most sex workers and marginalized victims do not come forward, because they are afraid that their voices will not be heard. With him being a white male, with him being a police officer and them being black and marginalized, they feared that they would be discounted.
Sadly their statements are TRUE. There has not been any national outcry about this racially motivated, class-based, gender-based sexual violence perpetrated by a white male police officer. Most importantly the women had records. They were criminalized already.
We can resist this silence and raise our voices to highlight the violence against these women, because no one should be denied justice because of their “criminal record.” The injustice system criminalizes all marginalized people, no matter what they do.
Join us in seeking more media coverage about this and similar cases. We need for sex worker organizations to rise up in defense of these women. We need people of color organizations to rise up and fight back. We need women’s rights, human rights, anti-violence and anti-sexual assault groups to join us. This is how you can do this:
by blacking out your FB profile picture or using the profile picture attached
using the #13blackwomen on social media when sharing this story
tweet for national media coverage, asking why there is no coverage?
resisting the stigmatizing of these women because of the charges that have been placed on them for sex work and drug use
write press releases, opinion pieces, blog posts
if you are a journalist or connected to the press, write a feature article about this story
start a petition asking for media coverage and that the DOJ to look into this case.