A Message from RAINN

As we reflect on the events of the past few weeks, words often fail.

We share the Black community’s grief and outrage for the unconscionable loss of the lives of George Floyd and far too many others at the hands of police, and for those whose lives have been made infinitely harder by the racism they must navigate every single day. We see you. We hear you. We stand with you. And we are committed to building a world where there is no question that Black lives matter.

We firmly believe there is no place for racism, injustice, and inequality. We stand united with our employees and partners against racial injustice and the inequitable treatment of the Black community. And we are committed to action.

At RAINN, we spend every day serving survivors of sexual violence and working for justice. Justice must include addressing disparities and biases in policing, especially as they relate to sexual violence. For years, we have worked to advance legislation to require culturally-competent, trauma-informed training for both law enforcement officers and healthcare professionals to ensure victims get the respect they deserve in a moment of crisis and beyond. We will continue to push to address these and other issues that disproportionately impact the Black community.

Ultimately, to address the disparities that we see every day, policing practices will need to reflect the values of our communities. Biases and biased practices all too frequently impact the criminal justice process at all levels — from police officers to prosecutors, from witnesses to judges and juries. Officers who commit sexual assault need to face criminal consequences; officers with any history of excessive force must be promptly removed from the force; and officers with biases against any of the community members they have been hired to serve must be immediately removed.

At the same time, we are committed to inclusion throughout RAINN; like every other organization in the country, we can do better. We are looking at ways to improve our diversity and inclusion practices to ensure we are walking our talk and lifting up Black and other voices internally. We also will redouble our efforts to ensure we are creating targeted, culturally-sensitive resources that honor the voices and experiences of survivors in every community, including the Black community, which has been disproportionately affected by sexual violence.

We can, and we must, do better — here at RAINN, and throughout society. This is our commitment.

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