Even in a post–Me Too world, survivors of sexual violence know the perils of coming forward. The stigmas endure. And a woman’s word is often not believed. Black women are at a particular disadvantage, rarely receiving the opportunity to tell their stories at all, even after longtime civil rights activist Tarana Burke saw the Me Too movement she founded become a household name in 2017.
According to a recent report from the National Center on Violence Against Women, for every Black woman who reports a rape, there are at least 15 who do not. It’s also been noted that half of all Black transgender women are survivors of sexual violence and two-thirds of Black transgender people said they would be uncomfortable asking the police for help.
However, ahead of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Burke announced that Me Too. International has joined the National Women’s Law Center and the Time’s Up Foundation to create We, As Ourselves, an initiative that will address one leading factor of why so many Black survivors don’t feel safe enough to seek public support and one of the most pressing issues of the survivor justice movement: reshaping the narrative about sexual violence and its impact on Black survivors.