I had always known our reporting system is broken, but until this moment I’d always blamed myself for not having gone to the police with my story. Was I naive enough to truly believe they would have taken the words of a black teenager seriously, years after my assault? No. But that’s how internalized victim-blaming works: it doesn’t depend on facts or logic—the shame insists we silence ourselves.
But we’re talking back—and we always have been…What would a world in which all people felt empowered and supported to share the tyrannies we swallow every day even look like? What would it look like to envision justice outside the prison-industrial complex? I don’t have those answers yet, but I do know that we won’t get there until we commit to hearing the voices of people who know sexual violence most intimately. We won’t shape any meaningful policy or practice unless we center the needs and wants of the person whose life is affected most. We won’t get anywhere in this movement unless victims and survivors can chart their own paths toward healing—on their own terms and in their own words.
(via the dopest ethiopienne)