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Week of Action aims to amplify voices of Black survivors of sexual violence

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Posted at 3:18 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 15:21:27-04

There's a new push to amplify the voices of Black survivors of sexual violence and reshape the narrative around these women.

It's part of the We, As Ourselves Week of Action this week. The Me Too movement, the National Women's Law Center and the TIME'S UP Foundation are all behind this campaign.

“We have to really disrupt this idea that this is not happening to Black women and girls, when in actuality, Black women and girls face a higher incidence of sexual assault and sexual violence in their lifetime and especially in our childhood,” said Monifa Bandele, Chief Operating Officer of the TIME'S UP Foundation.

Bandele points to the hyper sexualization of Black women and the belief in society that they are so strong that they can't experience sexual violence as two reasons why Black survivors don't get the attention they need and deserve.

“Even as there has been a heightened conversation around survivors in this country around their ability to sort of live with safety and dignity, that conversation has not in enough specific and direct ways addressed Black survivors,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center.

Graves says even though the Me Too movement has opened up conversations around survivorship and accountability, it hasn't to the same extent for Black survivors.

The We, As Ourselves campaign created a video that they're calling "A Love Letter to Black Survivors." Me Too founder Tarana Burke is part of it.

“You don't have to share your story if you're not comfortable. The most important person to tell your story to is yourself, and so, if you are struggling to come forward and say it publicly, start with you,” said Burke.

If you're a survivor looking for resources or want to help support this effort, you can find information about both here.