#BelieveSurvivors: RYSE's Demand for Gender Justice

I’ve experienced violence because of my sexuality. It’s hard being black and gay and in addition being a woman makes things even more difficult. Because of my sexuality, I’ve experienced sexual violence because people are afraid about what they don’t understand.
— RYSE Member, Age 17

To ALL our young people who are carrying the unjust pain of gender violence, sexual violence, RYSE loves you, we believe you, we are here for you, we are enraged for and with you, and we are committed to you.

To ALL our adult systems and partners responsible for the safety and affirmation of our young people, we must do and be better. Gender violence and sexual violence are pervasive and “normalized” in our community, and at every level. No system, city, school, salary range is excepted.

In 2017, RYSE youth interns conducted a Youth Participatory Action Research Project to understand how young people experience and are impacted by gender and sexual based violence, with the broader aim of creating safer spaces and a culture of education and prevention. Please read our key findings and specific recommendations.

Gender justice assures place and space for all of us, across all our identities, experiences, relationships, histories, and dreams.

Gender justice recognizes that girls and women, and girls and women of color, in particular, bear the burden of such violence.

Gender justice recognizes that trans women of color are the most vulnerable to such violence.

Gender justice recognizes that gender violence hurts boys too. Gender justice recognizes that gender violence, in the forms of rigid gender binaries, diminishes their ability to live in their full humanity and love.

Gender justice is fueled by love, rage, joy, creativity, vulnerability, accompliceship, solidarity, beloved community. By believing.  

Phenomenal Woman is leading a campaign for 1,600 male allies to take out a full-page ad in the NYT in support of Prof. Anita Hill and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, reminiscent of how 1,600 black women did the same in 1991. Learn more and support here.