Mapping the Blank: Centering Black Women's Vulnerability to Police Sexual Violence to Upend Mainstream Police Reform
54 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2016 Last revised: 25 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 1, 2016
Police sexual violence is not a recent phenomenon. Historically, police officers have abused their authority, and with sexual violence in particular, Black women are hypervulnerable due to pejorative stereotypes about our sexuality and disproportionate interactions with the criminal legal system. Yet there is a pervasive silence around sexual violence, which obscures its frequency and gravity. Mainstream advocacy has challenged rape culture in a variety of contexts, especially sexual assault on college campuses. However, these efforts have failed to take up the issue of police sexual violence. Similarly, mainstream efforts to combat racial profiling and police brutality have not centered Black women’s experiences with structural violence, including sexual assault, resulting in reforms that legitimize the presence of police in marginalized communities under the guise of public safety and community-police collaboration. Thus, this Article advocates for an intersectional, rights-based antiviolence platform in order to advance comprehensive, survivor-centered solutions and institutional accountability.
Keywords: police brutality, police violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, race, intersectionality, human rights
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