A Letter Honoring People of Color Who are Victims of Crime

Honoring People of Color Who are Victims of Crime

Every year there is a national Crime Victim Rights Week which will be celebrated in New York on April 10-16 this year, during the annual national sexual assault awareness month.

In fact, women of color are more likely to be raped than white women, and to be missing or exploited without adequate response from law enforcement or the media. We are much less likely to report being assaulted (1 out of 15, v 1 out of 5 whites), and if only 1 out of 100 perpetrators end up in jail on average for all victims, you might suspect the victim was white. Seventy-five percent of incarcerated people in NY are Black, American Indian, or Hispanic and something like 68% disclose being victims of crime as children.

What does justice look like for us?

We call upon Communities of Color, survivors, victims, families, friends, to claim some space during this week and month to honor and celebrate the unnamed victims, the adults and children of color who have not yet received justice, and the families and friends and survivors who still suffer.

We call upon you to use your networks, ideas and resources to honor People of Color who are victims and/or survivors, and their families during Crime Victims Week in April.  Write a statement for your local paper, connect to your local radio station or online platforms or read it aloud at the Crime Victim Ceremony in your local community or college campus.  Host a public gathering.

Groups listed below are developing a statement for individuals and or their agencies to sign on in support to be presented during Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  We encourage statewide and national responses, community by community to do local events to honor victims of crime who are people of color.

  • We are claiming a space to remember and honor people of color who are victims of crime in New York State and across the United States.
  • Whether we are the survivors, the mothers, fathers, sisters or brothers, children, colleagues or friends we realize we are all impacted by the violence and the violence connects us all.
  • We see the invisible victims, the unrecognized ones, we seek those who are missing and work to free those who are exploited.
  • We know as victims, as women and children, fear of racial state sanctioned violence causes us to modify our own behaviors, question our reality, hold back acting on our humanity for fear of unanticipated consequences to our children, families and communities,
  • We fear seeking justice through a system that re-victimizes us, fear being arrested for reporting, losing our children to CPS or called out of line or inappropriate when we speak up.  Our very disclosure of this violence is questioned by the media, law enforcement and at times, victim advocates.
  • We know that 68 percent of incarcerated men were victims of early childhood physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.
  • We know the prison population is disproportionately Black and Brown.
  • We know that as women of color we are more likely to be raped than a white woman, and that we are less likely to see the perpetrator held accountable.

We know that the color of our skin or immigration status intersects with our gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability and faith, and negatively impacts our access to our rights as victims of crime.


We say our names.


Signed by:

Angels Recovery, Lizz Toledo

Allison Bradley

Amy Maitland

Linda Morgan

Bella Mazzette

Black Lives Matter Rockland/Orange Alliance

Black Women’s Blueprint

Brandi Sutherland

Brittni Gulotty

Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration

Comfort Dondo, ZimFirst USA

Denine Carr

Dora Lee Stanley

Gia Stark

Giuliana Velez

Holding Our Own

Human Rights Pen Pals

In Our Own Voices

Jamie Gandron

Jean Fei

Jessica Zimpfer

Jessie Ruoff

Joan Ramsey

John F. Egger

Julieth Nunez

Kaylyn O’Brien

Kathy Romero

Kimberly Berg

Laura Plotkin

Lauren Townes

Linda Morgan

Luz Marquez

Maggie Fronk


Marlene Gonzalez

Mary Nell Morgan

Michelle McAllister-Henry

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

New York State Prisoner Justice Network

Rommell Washington

Seven Dancers Coalition

Social Justice Center of Albany

Stacey Tanner

The Women’s Safe House, St Louis, MO

Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Vanessa Adams

William L. Brown

Women of Color Network


Signatures are accepted through the end of the month when the list will be finalized.

If you want to take part in this event, contact Luz Marquez at Marquezb1@yahoo.com or Jean Fei at jefei48@gmail.com.