The history of women of colour fighting against violence against our bodies is a long, painful and brutal one.
Violence against women of colour was the basis for the reproduction of white supremacist slavery in America: our bodies were the playthings and labour-producing-machines of slave masters. We were simultaneously treated as chattel and sex toys. The use of our bodies in this way, which allowed slavery to flourish, created the basis for capitalism in America today.
Today women of colour are still more likely to face domestic violence at the hands of men compared to our white sisters, trans women of colour are most likely to face violence at the hands of police in America, migrant women are disproportionately likely to face violence at borders and in detention centres.
Our bodies are the loci for so much violence, but our voices are so often disregarded and silenced. There is barely a woman of colour you will meet who hasn’t had sexist violence meted out against her.
Solidarity to our sisters departed – the Sojourner Truths – who will never get justice for the violence used against them. Solidarity to our sisters of a bygone era – the Kathleen Cleavers, the Elaine Browns, the Assata Shakurs – whose organisations dismissed their experiences of domestic violence. And solidarity to our sisters fighting today, whose bodies are bruised and stories used as gimmicks and games.
There is no black liberation without the liberation of all women.
| Sister Dissidents
“We want to continue to contest the neglect of domestic violence against women, the tendency to dismiss it as a private matter. We need to develop an approach that relies on political mobilization rather than legal remedies or social service delivery. We need to fight for temporary and long-term solutions to violence and simultaneously think about and link global capitalism, global colonialism, racism, and patriarchy–all the forces that shape violence against women of color. Can we, for example, link a strong demand for remedies for women of color who are targets of rape and domestic violence with a strategy that calls for the abolition of the prison system?” – Angela Davis