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Greater Manchester Rape Anti –Racist Statement of Commitment

Greater Manchester Rape Crisis stands in solidarity with all women who experience racist oppression. Racism is not acceptable. We are committed to identifying and challenging racism at all levels of society through an intersectional perspective and to continually developing as an anti-racist employer, service provider and campaigning organisation.

GMRC is committed to providing support, counselling and advocacy for any woman who has experienced sexual violence. We work hard to ensure our services are accessible and responsive to women from diverse backgrounds and communities. We also encourage Black[1] women to become involved as staff, volunteers, consultants and management committee members. Over the years, GMRC has developed strong links within local racially minoritised groups and with organisations that provide culturally specific services so we can reach out to Black women who have encountered racist barriers when accessing therapeutic support, criminal justice and mental health services. GMRC acknowledges the need to regularly monitor, evaluate and reflect on our practice to ensure that we continue to work actively to identify and challenge racism within our organisation. We will continue to work alongside others to oppose racism in the local, national and global political contexts.

GMRC recognises racism as operating on three levels: structurally, culturally and personally. Structural racism is racist discrimination that works at an institutional level and is embedded into the fabric, practices and management of most organisations. Racist language, behaviour and policy goes unquestioned and is aggressively implemented[2]. Cultural racism can be seen in the values of a society that actively deny the heritage of racially minoritised communities and continually reinforce racist stereotypes. It is evidenced in the way cultural tropes are used to denigrate specific communities[3]. Personal racism is that which is perpetrated directly at an individual because of their race and can involve, for example, racist language, violence, denial of promotion, and lack of appropriate support. Racism is experienced on one, two or all levels at the same time. It can be a one-off incident or sustained abuse. Racism can affect a person’s self-esteem, mental health and physical wellbeing. It can also lead to a person experiencing social issues for example, Black women face barriers to housing, health care, education, justice, and experience isolation and lack of safety.

As a feminist organisation, GMRC is committed to the empowerment of all women and subscribes to the views expressed here by Black feminists Audre Lorde:

(No woman is) free while any women is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. 1981

And Angela Davis:

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist. 1981


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