I just returned from the rally to demand justice for rape survivors and maximum sentencing for NYPD rape cops Mata and Moreno. What an inspiring event with an amazing turnout — dozens of men and women gathered to lend their support.
Unfortunately, the defense attorneys filed a motion to delay sentencing, so it has been pushed back one month. Nevertheless, we all stood together in solidarity and demanded an end to all violence against women, including rape, and for accountability of these crimes. Members of the Connect the Dots Coalition (including NOW-NYC, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Feministing.com, The Healing Center, New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Service Women’s Action Network) were all present and spoke, as did NYC Council members, among others.
The message was clear: we will, under no circumstances, stand by as women and girls are raped, harassed and brutalized, especially at the hands of law enforcement. We are going to continue fighting until the city and the NYPD take rape seriously. As one speaker so eloquently put it, we challenge the NYPD to win back our trust and we challenge the judge to deliver justice. We demand an end to victim blaming and an environment in which victims are afraid to come forward, lest they be treated like the brave victim who reported her rape by NYPD officers. We will accept nothing less.
It speaks volumes that members of the NYPD have gotten away with raping a member of the public they swore to protect and that last year, NYC did not fund one single sexual assault prevention program. However, this evening, the NYC Council will vote on a budget that includes this funding in its base line. If you live in NYC, be sure to contact your Council member and urge her/his support of it.
And most importantly, mark your calendars for a month from now, when the rally will resume on the day of sentencing! Stay tuned for more details.