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I have been thinking a lot recently about restorative justice practices and violence – physical, psychological and emotional violence and the harm to persons, immediate and long term, as well as the harm to their associate families and communities. Not much attention is paid to the survivors of violence unless the violence is by the state, yet every day people are making choices which harm innocent people. Why is the activist community silent when it comes to advocacy for these silenced survivors?
Over the last two months, the political, media and entertainment worlds have been rocked, as thousands of women, and some men, have come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. The catalyst was the historic disgracing of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who now is being criminally investigated, after dozens of women came forward to accuse him of rape, assault and sexual harassment. In the days after the Harvey Weinstein revelations, we interviewed Tarana Burke, Soraya Chemaly and Alicia Garza.
Currently, two historic events are being characterized in a manner that erases the significant contributions of Black women. The #MeToo Movement is being recast in the national narrative to fit into a more comfortable version of U.S. history. A seminal moment within this movement was when white celebrities began to use the hashtag to make people aware of the extent of sexual abuse suffered by women in this country. But this moment came 10 years after the movement was begun by a Black woman, Tarana Burke.