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Rejecting Violence Everywhere

May 29, 2020

Statement from the National Network to End Domestic Violence Condemning the Murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Atatiana Jefferson and the Rise of Hate Crimes

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is outraged by the violent assaults on Black life in America and condemns the horrific acts of violence across the country.

We mourn the senseless loss of life and call for justice in response to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson and many others. As anti-violence advocates, we will not turn a blind eye to the murders in the Black community or the anti-Asian, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant violence and bias happening right now. We grieve with the nation, and our deepest condolences go out to the families, friends, and communities who are mourning these and other losses.

NNEDV advocates for all survivors to have the right to a safe home. But when that home, the streets, playgrounds, public parks, schools, and places of worship are also not safe for survivors of color due in part to the systemic and structural racism that exists, we know that survivors and communities cannot feel safe relying on these systems. How can survivors reach out to police for help and safety when it means they or their family could risk death at the hands of law enforcement officers or in a prison cell?

We must work together to dismantle the systems of oppression that enable all forms of violence wherever they occur. We join and support our national, statewide, tribal, territorial, and local partners in calling for an end to the discrimination and structural racism that underlie police brutality and state-sanctioned violence. The persistence of unchecked harassment, violence, and murder must be answered, and the calls for accountability must be heard from all corners of society, including from within the anti-violence movement. We must take responsibility for our own actions that further this violence and find ways to address it.

All forms of violence and oppression are connected, and you cannot fight against one form of injustice and not fight against others. We cannot truly undertake this work unless we can begin to dismantle the systemic and structural barriers that have allowed these horrors to persist.

Our advocacy to eradicate violence is intertwined with all the experiences of survivors and this work cannot be done without centering the voices and lives of people at the margins. We also acknowledge the tremendous advocacy of so many organizations and culturally specific providers doing this important work. We must lift each other up, embrace the transformational change that is needed, unite together to seek justice, and support ways to heal, because we know that when we do this, we are moving closer to rejecting and ending violence everywhere.