“I don’t believe in accountability anymore… my anger and hopelessness about the current model are proportional to how invested I’ve been in the past. Accountability feels like a bitter ex-lover to me… the past ten years I really tried to make the relationship work, but you know what?”
— Angustia Celeste
Accountability processes often do a lot of good but sometimes they just teach men how to appear unabusive when nothing’s changed but the words coming out of their mouth. Survivors and friends are left wondering if said male is no longer a threat. Eventually the issue recedes from peoples’ minds because they don’t want to seem overly reactionary and don’t know what further steps to even take and the perpetrator is able to continue on in their life without much changing.
“The insistence that interpersonal violence is perpetuated by more than just the actual perpetrators is not meant to shift accountability away from those perpetrators. On the contrary, it’s a recognition of the many factors that entitle them to sidestep accountability. A perpetrator who refuses accountability is often enabled by a similar social network. Such networks aren’t only comprised of those who explicitly defend a perpetrator, but of all those who ensure the balance of power remains tipped in their favour. What this looks like in practical terms will vary. Silencing, repression, recuperation, or most often combinations of several of these methods are used against survivors and their struggle. The defining factor will always be what most effectively reproduces rape culture.”
“In the end, it won’t be the words of our enemies we remember, but the silence of our friends.”
Words to Fire Collective. Betrayal. Lies Journal Volume 2. 175-192.
Cleaver, Kathleen. History is a Weapon: Women, Power, and Revolution.
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Feminist Manifesto.
Marcos, Sylvia. The Zapatista Women’s Revolutionary Law as it is Lived Today. Originally appeared on Open Democracy.
Crabb, Cindy. Support zine.
Samaran, Nora. The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture.
Unity and Struggle abuse study guide. Learning to Fight, Learning to Heal
Law, Victoria. Where Abolition Meets Action: Women Organizing Against Gender Violence. Originally appeared on New Clear Vision.
Angola 3 News. Vikki Law: Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons. Youtube video:
UBUNTU is Women of Color and Survivor-led. This means that we emphasize people most affected by sexual violence as public representatives of the group (i.e., media, mobilizations, public meetings, events, etc.), and in the group’s internal structure and processes (membership/composition, roles, and decision-making). This is our way of reclaiming power. The name UBUNTU reflects a commitment to a traditional sub-Saharan African concept of the same name, which roughly translated means “I am because we are”.