PDX Alliance for Self-Care (PDX ASC) and EWOKS are aware that in our community spaces there is a fire raging: survivors are being asked to justify their truths and abusers are being enabled. They are being asked to collect the stories of those that have been similarly harmed as a method of “bringing receipts” when they speak their truths and name their abusers. Survivors, primarily Femme Survivors, are being gaslit, having their character attacked or being accused of perpetuating white supremacy and anti-Blackness when they choose to name their abusers, advocate for victims that have asked for solidarity, and request that survivors’ needs be upheld over those of abusers when holding and endorsing spaces.
We at PDX ASC and EWOKS wish to make our stance clear. Survivors should be able to name an abuser and to insist on accountability and change from that person. Survivors are owed the space to ask that abusers leave community spaces until they have done the work to dismantle their internalized systems that cause harm and to ask that they wait to return until and if the survivors have consented to share that space again. We insist that victims not be attacked for making these reasonable requests as we hold that asking abusers to be accountable is not perpetuating nor enabling white supremacy: it is disrupting white supremacy and cycles of oppression.
White men invented the systems that allow their abuses to be swept under the rug. White supremacy built the systems that collect women and femmes to support those images of abusers’ false safety. White supremacy benefits from historically oppressed communities internalizing the tools of their oppressors. They need us to turn against each other so that we cannot see our own strength nor do the work of liberating ourselves.
We ask that ALL members of the community with leadership functions re-evaluate their goals, processes, and affiliates. Please find the strength to admit when you have supported the wrong person(s). Please open your heart and mind to the voices sharing their truths without invalidating them or asking them to compromise their safety in the course of this work. When you agree to hold a space for community members, you agree to be mindful of the safety needs of all of your attendees. We ask that ALL members of the community with leadership functions take the safety of each attendee and community member as seriously as they would that of their own family– because our community must grow into a stronger unit and that starts with hearing, seeing, and uplifting those marginalized by the oppressive systems that continue to harm us.
We must set down the oppressive tools that keep us from our liberation. Stand with victims. Do not compromise on accountability. Do better than the tools of our oppressors. Siblings, we SEE you. We stand with you. We amplify your voices and your wishes in calling for true accountability.