Friday, May 25, 2012

Violence against Women With a Vision

"Shockwaves went out across social justice communities across the US at the word that Women With a Vision, a local organization that advocates for poor women of color, was the victim of a break-in and arson at their offices in MidCity. Women With A Vision (WWAV) was cofounded by a collective of Black women in 1991 as a response to the non-existence of HIV prevention resources for those women who were the most at risk: poor women, sex workers, women with substance abuse issues, and transgender women.
WWAV executive director Deon Haywood announced the news late last night: "Family and Friends, thank you all for the kind words, and positive energy. Someone broke into our office and torched it...We are all safe. Our the office where all the client files and outreach supply was burned and there is smoke and water damage. We're looking for a space and donations can be made on our website."
The attack seemed to directly target the crucial information and materials needed for WWAV's work. Virtually nothing was stolen, and the fire was centered around client files.
WWAV has made national news for leading the fight against Louisiana's Crime Against Nature Statute, which targeted poor women of color, transgender women, and anyone forced to trade sex for food or a place to sleep at night, forcing them to register as sex offenders. With the leadership of WWAV, which was directly accountable to those most affected, a national coalition that also included Center for Constitutional Rights and police misconduct attorney Andrea Ritchie was able to get the law off the books and has won legal victories in the process of removing the sex offender registration requirements for those convicted in the past.
We will help spread the word as more information becomes available, but for now we hope you will make a donation to support the crucial work of WWAV."
Posted originally by jordan flaherty at 2:25 PM on The Louisiana Justice Institute

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