Racial Violence Needs to Stop Now!

A statement from Stop It Now Director, Jenny Coleman

Our vision at Stop It Now! reads: "Adults engage in respectful, caring behavior with children and other adults to create safe, stable and nurturing relationships for all children. Children grow up free of trauma from any form of violence including sexual abuse and exploitation."

Today, we believe in this more than ever. As we witness and experience racist violence, we see the same adults we rely on to protect children – each and every child, without exception – act in ways that, in a gross understatement, are not respectful and caring. These attitudes and behaviors kill, and they send shockwaves of trauma through our communities. 

At Stop It Now!, we prevent child sexual abuse. We know that we can only truly address prevention when we’re willing to look at the intersectionality of systemic racism. Disproportionate numbers of black and brown people experience all types of violence at greater rates. Poverty and inequitable living environments foster vulnerability that increase risks of violence – including sexual abuse and exploitation.

People of color underreport crimes committed against them because of a history of unjust treatment in criminal and legal matters. When communities of color do report, the systems that are there to protect them have been slower to respond to families of color. Research demonstrates public attitudes and beliefs that girls of color are complicit in their own abuse, blamed for their own abuse. And boys of color are deemed incorrigible, seen as criminals at young ages, and not offered the same resources and hope as their white counterparts. People of color do not receive the same benefits as white people in a system that is supposed to support and protect every single person – every single beautiful, valuable, worthy person. 

Stop It Now! is committed to equality, equity and justice. We cannot truly have prevention until we have these. We cannot give our children a world free of violence until we address the wrongs in all of our systems – legal and criminal, medical, educational and all others – that allow racism not only to exist, but to flourish.

We believe deeply in every human’s right to safety, dignity and respect. We believe black lives matter.