Advocacy Education and Agitation to Stop Rape
When women call a rape crisis center they call on us as women organizing with other women to stop violence against women.
Women know we expect to end violence against women as part of the struggle for women’s liberation.
Women know rape crisis centers speak to and fight for our equality rights in our own and each other’s name.
· Our record of the violence is a record of individual men’s insistence on keeping one or many women down, in her place in patriarchy – which is a record not kept or analyzed this way anywhere else except for at our rape crisis/sexual assault centers
· Through the LINKS research project we discovered how much women working in our centers do not know about the criminal justice system. We understand this to be a weakness of our centers, which is partly imposed upon us by compartmentalization and obfuscation by the state, partly our own ignorance about how to find out, and partly because we have not tried
· Even though only 30% of the women who use our centers want a criminal justice system response to rape, the response of the state to women’s reports of rape is still a measure of how much work there is to do to end rapemost women call our centers looking for activity in response to rape that does not include the criminal justice system.
· We work in our centers and in CASAC for more than improved or best societal response to individual women – advocacy is our centers’ individual and joint activity towards ending violence against women. Therefore our advocacy techniques are broad and open to as many possibilities as we can dream up
Be it resolved that:
CASAC member centres keep the names of the men, their means of attack and their relationship to women and her resistance when we keep a record of a woman’s call to our center.
· CASAC centers use our record keeping as a joint strategy of resistance with our callers. We record women’s – hers and ours – activity to resist, interfere with and organize to stop rape.
· We will use the LINKS report and supporting documents to teach ourselves how to get those women who want a conviction of a man more of a chance of success. This will require ongoing commitment to keep our centers and CASAC informed of changes that will impact individual women’s and CASAC strategies to get better justice system response.
· CASAC create a cross-regional committee to gather examples of techniques past and present which we will then distribute to CASAC members. This will require ongoing center commitment to educate CASAC and ourselves about possible strategies for agitating for social change and the end of violence against women.
Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter