A couple of weeks ago, an activist friend asked me to provide a brief comment that they could quote in a community statement in response to this horrible column published by The Seattle Times earlier. The column criticized activists working to halt Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to hire 200 additional police officers, arguing that the apparent increase in the number of reported rapes is a reason Seattle needed more cops.
Sadly, the statement they were working on did not materialize, so I am posting it here.
For many women in our communities, especially women in the sex trade, women who are homeless or marginally housed, women of color and immigrant women, women with cognitive and mental disabilities, and others–the very people who are most vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence–the law enforcement is a major source of violence rather than a resource they can safely reach for help. We do not oppose increased police presence in our communities because of some unfounded prejudice against police officers, who by the way are four times more likely than average to be perpetrators of domestic violence, but because of our lived reality that more police does not make our lives safer nor does it address underlying vulnerabilities resulting from poverty, racism, sexism, as well as failed criminal, drug, and immigration policies.