Keep the Iowa Standard Going!
The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence put out a statement in July of 2020 that included a curious idea.
The statement, entitled “Moment of Truth: Statement of Commitment to Black Lives,” wasted little time with a dramatic opening…
“This is a moment of reckoning. The murder of George Floyd broke the collective heart of this country, and now, finally, millions of people are saying their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery – an endless list of Black Lives stolen at the hands and knees of police. The legacies of slavery and unfulfilled civil rights, colonialism and erasure, hatred and violence, have always been in full view. Turning away is no longer an option. Superficial reform is not enough.”
The groups which signed onto the statement then said that they call themselves to account for the ways in which the movement — and particularly the white leadership within the movement — has repeatedly failed black, indigenous and people of color survivors, leaders, organizations and movements.
“We have failed to listen to black feminist liberationists and other colleagues of color in the movement who cautioned us against the consequences of choosing increased policing, prosecution and imprisonment as the primary solution to gender-based violence.
“We have invested significantly in the criminal legal system, despite knowing that the vast majority of survivors choose not to engage with it and that those who do are often retraumatized by it.”
The letter states that we have a “pro-arrest and oppressive system that is designed to isolate, control and punish.”
“We promote the ideas of equity and freedom as we ignore and minimize the real risks faced by black, indigenous and people of color survivors who interact with a policing system that threatens the safety of their families and their very existence,” the document says. “We seek to uproot the core drivers of gender-based violence yet treat colonialism, white supremacy, racism and transphobia as disconnected or separate from our core work.”
The statement calls for reframing the idea of public safety, removing police from schools, decriminalizing survival, providing safe housing for everyone and investing “in care, not cops.”
One of the areas the movement seeks to “address” is the criminalization of prostitution as well as drug trades.