Documenting Police Sexual Violence
Police sexual violence is a pervasive and poorly documented problem. But what research does exist shows that it comes second to excessive force in police complaints, and that an officer is caught in an act of sexual misconduct every 5 days on average. Some studies show that up to 50% of people targeted for sexual violence by police are minors, and more than a thirds of complaints come from young people involved in police-youth engagement programs. Yet sexual violence by cop is often left out of conversations about policing or sexual violence under #MeToo.
Schools are also primary sites of sexual violence by police and security guards - even as we are told their presence makes students safer. As part of network members’ campaigns for #PoliceFreeSchools, youth researchers will be documenting sexual harassment, assault, and violence by police in schools in 8 cities across the country over the coming year, and using their findings in campaigns to make schools safer for everyone.
Mental Health First
Recognizing that so many of the Black women killed by police were murdered when they were - or were perceived to be - in a mental health crisis prompted network member the Anti-Police Terror Project to develop a Black led mental health response model which prioritizes prevention and care instead of policing and punishment. Mental Health First is now training people across the country in how to offer community-led mental health response rooted in safety, self-determination, and sustainability.
Building Safety Strategies for Black trans & gender nonconforming people
Black trans women experience some of the highest rates of violence in the country - including police violence. Surveys have consistently found that Black trans people don’t call the police when they need help - because they are more likely to be violated and criminalized by cops than protected. Members of the In Our Names Network are learning and practicing community-based safety strategies with a goal to piloting them in trans communities and training trans and cis people across the country to build relationships, skills and institutions that will generate genuine safety for Black trans women and their communities.
Reparations for Police Violence
How do we ensure accountability for police violence without relying on and fueling the institutions that perpetuate and condone it? Network members Interrupting Criminalization are part of developing a reparations-based framework to build a world without violence - including the violence of policing.