Ripples of Violence: Intimate Partner Violence Across Disability Communities.
Why this topic? Violence is endemic in domination, from settler-colonial empire to ableism as a way that those in power maintain systemic oppression and as an “outward ripple” in interpersonal relationships. This is reflected in the lives of multiply marginalized people, with the violence that we experience as disabled people, as people of color, as queer and non-binary people reverberating and multiplying the effects of violence, leading to staggering rates of interpersonal violence against people with disabilities (for ex. an estimated 70% of women with disabilities are survivors of sexual violence). While this level of violence is unacceptable in our lives, it has been rendered invisible within multiple systems of oppression which silence the voices of disabled people (particularly femmes) of color and seeks to cast unsafe behavior toward people with disabilities as a “natural” part of living with an impairment.
Why now? In our current moment, fascism is on the rise. Neoliberalism is becoming increasingly violent and white nationalism is gaining momentum. High-ranking officials such as President Donald Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have repeatedly been hostile and violent towards disabled people, especially disabled people of color. This fosters a culture that prevents disabled people from feeling safe and empowered enough to come forward and report violence. This current context is important in understanding why we feel compelled to have this conversation now.
Where: This conversation will take place primarily via Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. We feel convening online will increase the accessibility of the conversation. It also allows folks who do not live in the Bay Area to participate. However, we also understand that the topic of intimate partner violence can be intense and may be emotionally provocative. To address this, we are open to supporting people’s participation via in-person group locations. If you would like this form of in-person support, please indicate so in your reply email. There will be one in person group in the SF/Bay Area, at “Sins Central” in Berkeley and a second in-person location at San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR).