sexual assault and the language of justice

Right now I am thinking about justice and how we say we will “work for justice” but sometimes work isn’t a strong enough word for me.

TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE, RACISM, HOMOPHOBIA

I just read an article about male sexual assault survivors and specifically a case at Brown University. The article references my case and the current federal investigations at Brown. I feel overwhelmed by anger and grief and horror that this is still happening like this. I stand in such strong solidarity with survivors everywhere, and am so glad people are able to come forward. I wish we were being listened to more powerfully and swiftly.

Thinking about racism, classism, homophobia, and their intersection with rape culture, the concept of working for justice just doesn’t feel enough for me in this moment.

I work for justice.

I also CRAVE justice.

I HUNGER for justice.

I CRY for justice.

I PRAY for justice.

I SCREAM for justice.

I SLEEP for justice.

I SURVIVE for justice.

justice justice justice

There are too many of us and too little is being done and yes we need to work but we also need to honor the parts of ourselves that NEED justice, whatever that means to us. Justice is more than an abstract concept to be worked on. Peaceful, non-violent, but POWERFUL and REDEMPTIVE and LIBERATORY justice. I stand in solidarity with male survivors of sexual assault and with Andrew at Brown and with survivors everywhere, whether we come forward or not. I also think it’s time we start conversations about the language of justice, and what we really need from institutions and support networks in order to feel that social justice is in fact more than a fluff term. I want more meaning in the words. I want more done with the words. I want us to talk about what we don’t have the words to say.

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