The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault has joined 45 other state sexual and domestic violence coalitions across the country to reaffirm its commitment to dismantling the same structures that have harmed and continue to harm our Black, Indigenous and People of Color community members.
As part of CALCASA’s values and strategic approach, we are committed to making Bold Moves that center the voices of those most impacted by sexual violence and support the following initiatives within the movement to end gender-based violence as described in this letter.
CALCASA leads in California… and leads FROM California. We are proud to stand with other statewide coalitions to do the necessary work and move in a direction that asserts the dignity of all survivors.
Moment of Truth
This is a moment of reckoning. The murder of George Floyd broke the collective heart of this country,
and now, finally, millions of people are saying their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade,
Ahmaud Arbery – an endless list of Black Lives stolen at the hands and knees of police. The legacies of
slavery and unfulfilled civil rights, colonialism and erasure, hatred and violence, have always been in full
view. Turning away is no longer an option. Superficial reform is not enough.
We, the undersigned sexual assault and domestic violence state coalitions call ourselves to account for
the ways in which this movement, and particularly the white leadership within this movement, has
repeatedly failed Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) survivors, leaders, organizations, and
- We have failed to listen to Black feminist liberationists and other colleagues of color in the
movement who cautioned us against the consequences of choosing increased policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as the primary solution to gender-based violence.
- We have promoted false solutions of reforming systems that are designed to control people, rather than real community-based solutions that support healing and liberation.
- We have invested significantly in the criminal legal system, despite knowing that the vast majority of survivors choose not to engage with it and that those who do are often re-traumatized by it.
- We have held up calls for “victim safety” to justify imprisonment and ignored the fact that prisons hold some of the densest per-capita populations of trauma survivors in the world.
- We have ignored and dismissed transformative justice approaches to healing, accountability, and repair, approaches created by BIPOC leaders and used successfully in BIPOC communities.
- We acknowledge BIPOC’s historical trauma and lived experiences of violence and center those traumas
and experiences in our commitments to move forward.
- We affirm that BIPOC communities are not homogeneous and that opinions on what is necessary now vary in both substance and degree.
- We stand with the Black Women leaders in our movement, for whom isolation, risk, and hardship are now particularly acute. And we are grateful to the Black Women, Indigenous Women, and Women of Color -past and present – who have contributed mightily to our collective body of work, even as it has
compromised their own health and well-being.
This moment has long been coming. We must be responsible for the ways in which our movement work
directly contradicts our values. We espouse nonviolence, self-determination, freedom for all people and
the right to bodily autonomy as we simultaneously contribute to a pro-arrest and oppressive system
that is designed to isolate, control, and punish. We promote the ideas of equity and freedom as we
ignore and minimize the real risks faced by BIPOC survivors who interact with a policing system that
threatens the safety of their families and their very existence. We seek to uproot the core drivers of
gender-based violence yet treat colonialism, white supremacy, racism, and transphobia as disconnected
or separate from our core work.
A better world is within reach. It is being remembered and imagined in BIPOC communities around the
world, and it is calling us to be a part of it. In this world:
- all human beings have inherent value, even when they cause harm;
- people have what they need – adequate and nutritious food, housing, quality education and
healthcare, meaningful work, and time with family and friends;
- and all sentient beings are connected, including Mother Earth.
It is time to transform not only oppressive institutions, but also ourselves. Divestment and reallocation
must be accompanied by rigorous commitment to and participation in the community solutions and
supports that are being recommended by multiple organizations and platforms.
We are listening to and centering BIPOC-led groups, organizations, and communities. We join their
vision of liberation and support the following:
- Reframe the idea of “public safety” – to promote and utilize emerging community-based practices that resist abuse and oppression and encourage safety, support, and accountability
- Remove police from schools – and support educational environments that are safe, equitable, and productive for all students
- Decriminalize survival – and address mandatory arrest, failure to protect, bail (fines and fees), and the criminalization of homelessness and street economies (sex work, drug trades, etc.)
- Provide safe housing for everyone – to increase affordable, quality housing, particularly for adult and youth survivors of violence, and in disenfranchised communities
- Invest in care, not cops – to shift the work, resourcing, and responsibility of care into local communities
The undersigned coalitions agree that the above actions are both aspirational and essential. While
timing and strategy may differ across communities, states, and sovereign nations, we commit to
supporting and partnering with BIPOC leaders and organizations. We commit to standing in solidarity
with sovereignty, land and water protection, and human rights. And we say resoundingly and
unequivocally: BLACK LIVES MATTER!
The Coronavirus pandemic, unchecked and increased police violence, political and economic upheaval,
and stay-at-home isolation have produced the “perfect storm.” We have a choice to make: run from the
storm or into it. We choose to run into it and through it. We choose to come out the other side better,
whole, loving, just, and more human.
We have spent decades building our movement’s voice and power. How we use them now will define us
in the years ahead. Let our actions show that we did not stand idly by. Let them show that we learned,
changed, and will continue to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter is a centering practice for our work.
Alabama Coalition Against Rape
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
CAWS North Dakota
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault
Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Jane Doe Inc. (Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence)
Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault
New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence
New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.
New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
Violence Free Colorado
Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Click here to read the letter: Moment of Truth
As we mentioned last week, the legislature and Governor had the very difficult task of agreeing on a budget amidst a financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that these decisions were likely to affect our ongoing asks related to sexual and domestic violence prevention work. We’re relieved to inform you that the legislature and Governor reached a budget deal yesterday that preserves last year’s $5 million in funding for prevention of sexual and domestic violence.
Every year we come to the legislature and Governor to make the case for prevention funding, and to push for these funds to be reissued on an annual basis. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly given the circumstances, our ask this year for $15M to continue investing in prevention work was not granted. This marks the first time in three years the State of California will not be able to provide additional funding dedicated to prevention, and sets the State back in its efforts to end sexual and domestic violence. Even as we scramble to navigate a fiscal and public health crisis, we must recognize that every day more Californians become victims of sexual and domestic violence, and that these issues cannot be ignored.
As coalitions, news that our $15M ask was not granted presents a challenge from which we derive an opportunity to rethink our approach. As we strive to build and nurture safer communities, we will continue to push our State to reevaluate its own budgetary priorities and to make sure that they are in line with efforts to curb and ultimately, end, sexual and domestic violence from happening in the first place. This may entail a more concerted effort to get more trauma-informed advocates in school settings, in detention centers and prisons, and connecting with community-based organizations in order to build out our safety net, to name a few strategies we’re considering.
Our coalitions are committed to keep highlighting the needs of rape crisis centers and domestic violence programs in California, and will remain steadfast in our advocacy and collaboration with the legislature and Governor as this difficult process continues.
As a movement, we will continue to assert the dignity of all survivors and amplify innovative and transformative approaches to addressing and ending sexual violence.
+Read the full statement HERE: 23JUN20 Final Budget Statement_FY19 SD Funds Protected
Debido a la continuidad de la pandemia en los Estados Unidos CALCASA sigue abogando por las necesidades de los sobrevivientes de asalto sexual durante estos tiempos de incertidumbre. CALCASA reconoce las necesidades de las personas inmigrantes y pone a su disposición los siguientes recursos disponibles en el estado de California.
En respuesta al brote de COVID-19, California está brindando asistencia de ayuda debido al desastre de la pandemia. Esta ayuda es financiada por el estado por una sola vez a personas inmigrantes que no son elegibles para otras formas de asistencia.
Haga click aquí para encontrar y aplicar con una organización sin fines de lucro cercana a usted:
Tenga En Cuenta:
La financiación es limitada y no se garantizan los servicios y/o la asistencia para la solicitud de ayuda por COVID-19.
Las personas elegibles deben poder proporcionar la siguiente información: (1) son adultos indocumentados (personas mayores de 18 años);
(2) no son elegibles para recibir asistencia federal relacionada con COVID-19, como los pagos de estímulo fiscal de la Ley CARES o los beneficios de desempleo pandémico; y
(3) han experimentado dificultades como resultado de COVID-19.
Usted puede encontrar información útil sobre los servicios y programas de California para inmigrantes, incluyendo información sobre empleos, salarios, beneficios, apoyo a pequeñas empresas y viviendas, y sitios de exámenes de COVID-19. Para obtener esta información visite la página web www.covid19.ca.gov
CALCASA le recuerda la importancia de usar su mascarilla y guardar su distancia social como método de prevención para usted y las demás personas.
The fight to end sexual violence in the United States has always also required a concurrent fight against racism. Prejudice and discrimination on the basis of both sex and race are woven together in the issue of sexual violence, and so we cannot effectively combat one without combatting the other. As the nation grapples with renewed attention on police brutality, and vulnerable communities continue to endure violence and oppression that has been with this country since its founding, we are reminded of our critical commitment to center anti-racism in our work, and to truly assert the fundamental dignity of all people. Black Lives Matter.
We have been in the throes of a racism pandemic for decades and have seen the way racism has affected our approach and our ability to advocate for justice.
For a generation, our movement has over-relied on law enforcement as a primary response to sexual assault, rather than focusing on solutions that will prevent violence in the first place. We have successfully drawn the nation’s attention to issues of crime and punishment, at the expense of rectifying the social conditions and systemic inequities that allow sexual violence to subsist in our communities. CALCASA no longer supports that as a primary approach; we acknowledge that criminalization does not and will not end sexual violence. Law enforcement must continue to respond to sexual violence when called, but we must reaffirm our commitment to go beyond a paradigm that focuses too narrowly on perpetration and offenders. We must embrace a larger view of what a world free from violence in all its forms can look like. This includes law enforcement accountability.
George Floyd’s tragic murder at the hands of law enforcement in Minneapolis brings to mind the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, which did not lead to criminal charges for nearly two months later, and only after a recording had been made public. It comes several months after Louisville police killed a 27-year-old emergency medical technician, Breonna Taylor, after bursting into her own apartment, and less than a year after a Fort Worth police officer killed Atatiana Jefferson as she played video games in her home. It comes just a few weeks after the five-year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray in the custody of Baltimore police. The fact that these lives and countless others ended prematurely by those sworn to protect them, reminds us of our ongoing commitment to our racial justice work.
This is a time for us as a movement, experts who are positioned to understand the many intersecting forms of trauma and violence inflicted on our communities, to continue stepping up and speaking out. “As leaders in the anti-sexual violence movement, we are committed to advocating on behalf of survivors everywhere, and will not back down from being a voice for our field and for our broader movement,” stated CALCASA CEO, Sandra Henriquez, “In light of COVID-19, these are especially difficult times for survivors of all forms of violence, who will need our continued support. Our response to these compounding crises – a ‘racism pandemic’ – must be driven by our values.” Accordingly, we will continue to fearlessly engage the difficult issues and oppressive structures that plague our society, and advocate on behalf of the rape crisis centers that will always be a place of support for every survivor, in California and beyond.
El impacto de Coronavirus (COVID-19) está afectando a miles de personas en todo el mundo especialmente a sobrevivientes de asalto sexual y violencia doméstica. Porque debido a las circunstancias los sobrevivientes están mas a merced del abusador/a, y es mas difícil para ellos buscar ayuda. CALCASA está trabajando arduamente con los centros de crisis en California para apoyar los esfuerzos en los cambios de servicios disponibles.
Debido a la cuarentena estamos conscientes de que para algunas personas este puede ser un tiempo crucial a que sean más propensas de estar a riesgo de abuso sexual y doméstico. Como se sabe todas las personas están siendo afectadas por esta crisis en la que estamos, especialmente las personas inmigrantes, personas en centros de detención, y víctimas de abuso sexual y violencia domestica.
Durante estos tiempos de incertidumbre que estamos atravesando debido a esta pandemia de COVID -19 es importante que sobrevivientes dé asalto sexual y violencia doméstica sepan que NO ESTÁN SOLOS. Para algunos de nosotros es difícil mantener nuestras rutinas diarias no solo de trabajo si no también dentro de nuestros hogares y en nuestras actividades. Estamos luchando por adaptarnos a estos cambios debido a los cierres de las escuelas, centros de recreación, y lugares de trabajo, por lo cual es importante recordarle a los sobrevivientes que hay diferentes servicios disponibles durante esta pandemia. Todas las personas sin importar su estado migratorio, pueden acceder a trátamientos, pruebas médicas y otros cuidados de salud relacionados con COVID-19.
Recursos de Protección
Es probable que durante esta pandemia los casos de abuso sexual y violencia doméstica puedan aumentar debido al aislamiento y la posibilidad de estar más a riesgo en su propio hogar. Eso deja a las víctimas más vulnerables e incapaces de buscar ayuda porque sus abusadores están todo el tiempo presentes y bajo su control. Las inhabilita para acceder a los servicios que necesitan. Es por eso que queremos reiterar que los siguientes servicios siguen estando disponibles para las víctimas.
- Línea de Emergencia de 24 horas de su centro local
- Los Centros de Crisis de Violación en el estado de California continúan brindando servicios gratis y confidenciales durante el COVID- 19
- Preparar un plan de seguridad durante COVID -19
- Reportar cualquier clase de abuso a la estación local de policía
- Ordenes de protección pueden estar disponibles para los sobrevivientes de abuso
- Buscar apoyo de un familiar, un conocido o alguien de su entera confianza
Habilidades de Enfrentamiento
Habilidades de enfrentamiento que pueden ayudar a minimizar los sentimientos de ansiedad, estrés y temor relacionados a un asalto sexual durante este tiempo de COVID – 19.
- Practicar meditación
- Escuchar música
- Empezar a escribir en un diario
- Practicar yoga
- Tomar un té relajante
- Ejercicios de respiración
- Hablar con una amiga por teléfono
- Mirar una película en familia
NOTA: Por favor recuerde usar su mascarilla y guardar su distancia social como método de prevención para usted y las demás personas.