New partnership to prioritize “survivor justice” as essential to strengthening our democracy and inform voters on local candidates and policies that support survivors of sexual violence 

ATLANTA —  Sexual violence in the United States is not only a public health crisis but a threat to our democracy. Recent reports show that Black women experience the second-highest rate of sexual violence in the country.

Black Voters Matter and me too. International recently announced a new partnership and joint tour to make survivor justice a central theme in the upcoming elections and inform voters on candidates and policies focused on survivor justice strategies. As part of BVM’s “We Fight Back” campaign, this latest GOTV effort, Survivor Justice is Racial Justice, recognizes the unique history of racist and sexist victimization in Black communities, which prevents survivors from getting the help they need and effectively addressing these issues. The tour will make stops in Houston and Dallas, Texas, between May 23 through May 26, and include a women’s empowerment panel.

The tour kicked off in Georgia and will focus on Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, given the high rates of sexual violence in those states and their demographic makeup. Texas has the second-highest sexual violence rate in reports and arrests by population, followed by Florida. Georgia is ranked at 18, and Pennsylvania at 36. 

In addition to the tour, me too. International has created a national nonpartisan “Survivor Justice” voter toolkit that highlights specific candidates that support survivors of sexual violence as well as key legislation and issues on the ballot in target states to educate voters on the importance of Survivor Justice. The goal of this new engagement is to leverage the momentum of the campaign season to lay the groundwork for deeper political advocacy and electoral engagement, including base-building efforts to test new Survivor Justice strategies.

“We must reimagine safety and survivor justice as a Black power issue because it is, and the statistics bear this out,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter. “We know that Black women have the second-highest rate of sexual violence in the United States, and one in four Black girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18. These statistics are sobering, shocking and preventable, and voting is a core part of the solution.” 

“Far too many of our sisters and brothers have been impacted by sexual violence and feel powerless as a result, with no clear place to turn to heal and ensure it does not happen again to themselves and their loved ones,” said Tarana Burke, founder of me too. International. “We are not powerless. This partnership, which will culminate with deep engagement and connection with voters across the country, will realize our power and ensure that survivors are heard and their policy concerns valued.”

In such a critical election year, this partnership will also highlight the importance of the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) in securing the voting rights of survivors. The ACP provides an essential service by enabling survivors of sexual violence to participate in the electoral process without fear of their safety being compromised. By safeguarding their privacy, the ACP empowers survivors to exercise their fundamental right to vote, which is paramount in shaping the policies that will affect their lives and their communities.

“Through our partnership, we want to make clear that survivor justice is not just a Black women’s issue but an issue that affects our entire community. Eradicating it is essential to building our power, full stop,” said Cliff Albright, co-founder and executive director of Black Voters Matter. “During our tour, we will convey to Black voters that electing candidates that understand the importance of passing policies imbued with survivor justice strategies is key to strengthening our communities and society.”

The data show that Survivor Justice is a critical racial justice issue that must be a central topic in the 2024 elections and beyond. Survivor Justice is an expansion of the work of the anti-rape movement that uses a wider lens to look at the issue of sexual violence beyond just a criminal issue that affects individuals but a social justice issue that impacts society at large. Survivor Justice takes into account all of the ways survivors of sexual violence are affected because of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, immigration status or economic standing.


  • Texas: May 23-26
  • Pennsylvania: August (TBA)

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