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Open Letter from CA Black Women’s Collective – Stop to Victim Blaming of Black Women
Published October 6, 2022

 

The California Black Women’s Collective, Black Women Organized for Political Action, Los Angeles African American Women’s Political Action Committee, and allies stand up for Congressmember Karen Bass and all Black women. 

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Black women are more likely to be victims of crimes than our female counterparts, according to The Status of Black Women in the United States report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. According to the report, Black women disproportionately experience violence at home, at school, on the job, and in their neighborhoods. Black women face high rates of intimate partner violence, rape, and homicide.  

In California, more than 70 percent of Black households are single mothers who live alone. This statistic was highlighted in the State of Black Women in California Report by the California Black Women’s Collective. Protecting ourselves is a matter of survival. Yet, when we are the victim of crimes, our calls for help are often ignored and even questioned by those who are charged with protecting and serving the community.  

The most recent example is the deplorable action of a Los Angeles city council member who called for an investigation of Congressmember Karen Bass, who is running to be the first Black Woman Mayor of the second largest city in the country after her house was broken into. A letter went to the Los Angeles City Attorney with the intent to bring suspicion of her as a victim of a crime as well as accusations of her potentially breaking the law based on what was stolen. As a woman living in the community and being a well-known leader, Congressmember Bass has the right to be protected! And even though she did everything by the book, there was a narrative shaping her as the villain when she was the victim. This was nothing more than a political stunt. However, this type of accusation is a continuation of a pattern that must stop.  

Far too often, this happens when it comes to Black Women, and we will no longer accept or tolerate being discounted or treated as if our voice and lives don’t matter. We are not to blame for crimes against us and will continue to demand that the target of any criminal investigation focus on the perpetrator, not the victim. As a Collective of Black Women leaders throughout California and the nation, as well as our allies, we stand against victim shaming of Black Women.      

 More than 430 signatures were collected in support of this call to action.      

Abena Bradford 

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Ada Briceno  

Adrienne Johnson 

Aisha Brown 

Alana Robinson 

Aleta Hernandez  

Alice Goff 

Alten Todd  

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