Tarana Burke, Fatima Goss Graves, Ai-jen Poo and Mónica Ramírez have been actively involved in Burke’s MeToo Movement since its global breakthrough in the fall of 2017.
Together they co-founded #MeTooVoter, aimed at holding political leaders accountable to enact policies to end and address sexual violence, as well as to support survivors and their families.
Below is their statement on Monday’s Weinstein criminal verdict in New York:
For over two years, courageous survivors have been fighting for justice for the sexual violence against them by Harvey Weinstein. We are grateful to them for their bravery. They undertook immense sacrifices and suffered many hardships in order to share their truths.
Today a New York jury spoke in their favor, finding Weinstein guilty on two counts. This verdict sends a resounding message to survivors, to perpetrators and to allies. To survivors, this verdict reflects the fact that the jury, like millions of other people, believed them and understand the importance of holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. To perpetrators, it is proof that no one is above the law, not even those with power, money or visibility. To allies, it is a reminder of how important it is to stand with and by survivors when they come forward to share some of the deepest, most painful experiences.
The #MeToo Movement and this moment of reckoning was never about one man. It was about the many lives that he devastated and the countless people across the globe who have been afflicted with similar pain.
While we are clear that our work is far from over, today’s verdict is an incredibly important step in the #MeToo Movement and in the greater fight to end gender-based violence. It provides an opportunity to push for necessary reforms to the legal system, as well as for additional support for victims and survivors. Further, it bolsters the possibility for a societal rewiring to definitively shift culture, norms and behavior necessary to eliminate sexual violence all together.
Though a jury has spoken today, we must remember that for the survivors who brought charges and testified at Weinstein’s trial, this verdict is not the end of the road. It is another step in their healing journey. They will continue to need support from all of us, just like all survivors do, as they move forward with their lives.
We can not understate the importance of believing survivors, from the most visible to the least visible. May this be an opportunity for all of us to recommit to fighting for survivors of all backgrounds and to ensuring that they have the support that they need in order to pick up the pieces to put their lives back together.
—Tarana Burke, MeToo Movement
—Fatima Goss Graves, National Women’s Law Center
—Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance
—Mónica Ramírez, Justice for Migrant Women