Take Back the Night Philly: Mission Statement & Points of Unity

(developed with support from PSSC’s Points of Unity & in coalition with the MTERC)

This organizing committee is guided by principles of intersectionality, anti-oppression and combating rape culture. All members must be open to learning about these ideas and reflecting on their own biases. We understand that unpacking and unlearning our own biases and privileges allows us to create space for the various experiences of survivors of all different backgrounds & narratives and the ways they experience rape culture and other violence.

We believe that we live in a culture that excuses, tolerates and even encourages sexual violence and domestic violence. We are working toward a world without sexual assault and one in which communities can heal from and prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. We are fighting for a world that understands and respects Consent Culture.

We support anyone who identifies as a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence, anyone who is supporting someone else who identifies as a survivor, or anyone who is unsure whether or not they have been sexually assaulted or been in an abusive relationship.

We support survivor’s self-determination in their own healing process and level of comfort in their involvement.

We recognize that issues around rape culture & domestic violence are amplified when intersecting with discrimination based on race, gender, class, ability (physical & intellectual disabilities and mental health challenges), documentation status, and sexual orientation. We see that systematic oppression, especially that of black, brown, & indigenous people, queer and transgender people, and women & girls, result in higher rates of violence, more silencing of voices and less justice. For this reason, we intentionally prioritize speakers and participants from these communities and strive to create a safer space for intersecting identities.

We believe that all survivors and individuals from systematically oppressed communities are free to respond to their oppression in any way that they see fit. We do not police or decide what kinds of responses to victimization are acceptable.

Our work and organizing are informed by prison abolition, harm reduction, and transformative justice.  We strive to uplift community responses to sexual assault and domestic violence which don’t support state violence.

We stand in solidarity with and support the fight for reproductive rights and reproductive justice.

We recognize that sexual assault, domestic violence and a culture based on rewarding domination and oppression, harms entire communities. We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to take sexual assault and domestic violence seriously and work to change the conditions that allow it to happen. We believe there are no “innocent bystanders”.

Our committee seeks to create a public safer space for healing and learning for survivors and allies who wish to work towards an end to rape culture & non-consensual culture.

We are committed to ongoing education and actions that challenge systems of power and oppression and stand in solidarity with other organizations in our coalition working for these same goals.