Yesterday we saw events that demonstrate systemic racism, sexism, and the dangerous attitudes and behaviors that undermine efforts to end sexual violence play out in real time.
While we respect the right to protest, which our Constitution guarantees, we condemn the use of force and violence to stoke fear and silence those carrying out the process of an election decided by the American people.
People in the U.S. and throughout the world-- including survivors of sexual assault -- watched as a group of predominantly white men, emboldened by their own narrative, stormed into our nation’s Capitol Building to undermine the democratic process and our Constitution. We watched as images were shared on social media of these rioters proudly displaying their show of force -- such as the man who posed in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office chair, his boot on her desk, demonstrating his dominance over the personal property of one of our nation’s highest elected female officials.
We also saw the subdued response of the understaffed Capitol Police, National Guard, and other federal forces to the violence -- which indicated a clear unwillingness to respond to predominantly white rioters with the same assessment of threat and aggressive tactics used against the diverse groups who protested racial injustice this past summer. This demonstrates a clear and conscious bias in how minority and dominant groups are treated differently by law enforcement, and the systemic racism embedded in our justice system.
For survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse -- we know that these events may have been especially difficult to witness and know there is pain, fear, and devastation throughout our community. You are not alone. Contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline if you need to reach out to someone - Telephone: 800.656.HOPE (4673) Online chat: online.rainn.org Espanol: rainn.org/es