“It’s unacceptable that as the second largest employer in the country, McDonald’s is failing to keep workers like me and Ashley safe from harassment. No one should have to go through what we’ve been through. But we’re strong, and together we have a voice. We’re using that voice to hold McDonald’s accountable.”
“On the Record” chronicles not only Drew Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers—Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Sher—delving deeply into the ways women of colors’ voices are all too often silenced and ignored when reporting these crimes, and the cultural forces that pressure them to remain silent.
Throughout the country and world, Denim Day sets a standard of support for survivors and provides a foundation for solidarity through a simple message: There is no excuse for sexual assault.
“When we gloss over the icky parts of being a girl and focus on how strong, equal and powerful they are … When we don’t address the unpleasant and creepy experiences that are a girl’s inheritance, we do them a disservice. We contribute to their confusion.”
Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women. Even though women account for less than 10% of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men.
“Sexual abuse survivors have endured an exhausting journey only to learn now that their long-awaited day in court is postponed to an unknown date. I reassure my clients, as well as survivors everywhere, that there is a silver lining. This pause in the court system may ultimately make their cases stronger.”
As the government plans Phase 4 of stimulus relief, it is important that Congress address the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable populations: domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
This Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Ms. spoke with Abrams, who has served on the board of directors for victim services nonprofits Safe Horizon and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, to investigate the implications that COVID-19 could have for survivors.
No magical fix will end sexual violence or guarantee survivors safety. But the body doesn’t know that—just as it doesn’t know not to ravage vital organs in the process of fighting COVID-19. Ultimately, it’s all about survival.
The pandemic is increasing many of the environmental and social conditions that facilitate sexual assault. In this context, campus administrators must take concrete steps to protect vulnerable students—grounded in the abundance of evidence that reveals what works.