The past week has been a whirlwind for survivors. Surviving R. Kelly debuted as a six-part documentary and detailed the decades of sexual assault and abuse that the singer has perpetuated against Black women and girls. The series exposed a network of people who cared little for the welfare of Black women and girls. And news of Cyntoia Brown’s commutation has rightfully shifted our attention as a community and a nation to a larger discussion of what happens in the wake of sexual assault and life as a survivor. Ms. Brown was facing a life sentence for killing a man who bought her for sex when she was sixteen years old. Ms. Brown, a sex trafficking survivor, was granted clemency by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
We at YWCA Princeton believe survivors. There remain countless other victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence that are silenced, oppressed, and unacknowledged. We are now one year after the #MeToo movement began, but for so many, justice does not exist. That is why our main focus is on building a safe, economically secure future for women and girls. Our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women can only be accomplished when we secure a future that is free from social inequities. Every action counts and now is the time that we need you to step up.
On Saturday, January 19, YWCA Princeton will participate in Women’s March on New Jersey. We will march for survivors, Black women, women of color, queer communities, and other marginalized peoples. We march for YOU. Following the march, on Thursday, January 24, we will host a community forum on sexual assault and gender-based violence, right here at our building on 59 Paul Robeson Place in Princeton. We will be joined by Womanspace, #NotOnMyWatch, and Princeton University’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising unit. Both events are free and open to the public.
Join us in this fight, march with us, and believe survivors.