A Statement from the Anti-Violence Partnership

The Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia (AVP) is dedicated to ensuring that victims of crime have a voice in their communities and in society. As a victim advocacy organization, we focus on the needs and rights of victims first and foremost.

We see them. We believe them. We hear them. We stand with them. 

The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other black and brown people in our country are incomprehensible and have ignited protests throughout the country. We stand with them.

While people of all races, genders, religions and creeds are victims of crime, AVP recognizes that collectively, laws and policies have disproportionately victimized black communities and communities of color. Laws to enact criminal justice reform have resulted in the mass incarceration of black men and criminalization of black women; policies to reform education have moved dollars from impoverished school districts, predominately serving black and brown students, into wealthier districts; and a steadfast refusal by government to enact meaningful healthcare reform has meant that access to healthcare remains elusive or impossible for many black and brown people who are disparately impacted by poor health outcomes. These systems of oppression have existed for hundreds of years. They have evolved over time and gained acceptance by much of society, while the voices of those negatively impacted are unjustly criminalized and ultimately silenced by the racist structures we have built.  We hear them.  

The trauma experienced by black communities and communities of color, who are victimized generation after generation, is a true and real experience that must be acknowledged and addressed if we want our country to move forward.  We must all recognize the part we play in racism and the collective trauma experience, trust that the experiences of others can be different from ours yet still honest, and bear witness to the truths that people tell as they protest, as they rage, and as they speak. We must do our part and do something about it. We must challenge systems that continue to oppress the people we serve every single day. We believe them.

As victim advocates, we know that resiliency is important in helping a person to envision a future after being the victim of a crime. We believe in the resiliency of Philadelphia. Our city will come together to promote action against racism. We will unite to promote racial justice, income equity, healthcare reform, gender equality, educational reform, fair housing, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration measures, and support any social justice movement that decreases victimization and increases justice. 

We see them. Because we are them.

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