Jaslin Kaur Is Running for City Council to Fight for Sexual Misconduct Survivors

...A survivor-centered justice system would prioritize healing for victims, affected families and communities, and foste...

If my years working with campus survivor-justice organization Know Your IX taught me anything, it’s that gender justice is incompatible with our hierarchical, punitive, political-economic system.

Sure, in the period since #MeToo brought many thousands of survivors’ stories out in the open, some abusers have been brought low, either their reputations or economically, and some organizations and institutions have adopted more strident language about harassment and discrimination, but are we really any safer?

The series of events is by now dishearteningly familiar. First, women who have faced harassment and abuse bravely share their stories. Next, the media and internet spring into action, producing a glut of takes. Finally, some wholly insufficient action concludes the rotation, be it the launch of a toothless investigation, the issuance of an unsatisfactory apology, the resignation, or even imprisonment, of an individual bad actor. But in the end, the underlying conditions that enabled the abuse in the first place are left unchanged, and the cycle is primed to start all over again. It’s a dismal merry-go-round.

We can never be safe in a society that is based on hierarchy and exploitation. Our only hope is to dramatically change our economic and criminal legal systems to incentivize courage and accountability, not intimidation and denial...

...Unionization is most urgent for women in precarious employment situations — with low wages, minimal benefits, and poor working conditions — who are the most vulnerable to harassment and violence. But as a candidate for office, I am all too aware that even in the white-collar world of government, workplace protections for staffers and constituents who speak out against elected officials aren’t anywhere near strong enough...

...A survivor-centered justice system would prioritize healing for victims, affected families and communities, and foster opportunities for those who have done harm to make amends, change their behavior, and try, in the words of Common Justice executive director Danielle Sered, to make things “as right as possible.”

For the moment, these ideas barely receive any consideration in the halls of power. But that is about to change. A record number of young women are getting involved in politics to fight for a worker-focused economy, where everyone has basic human rights like housing, health care, union representation, and a survivor-focused justice system based on repair, healing, and growth.

In the world we’re fighting for, those who suffer sexual assault and gender-based violence have real supports to lean on, not just cops to call.

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