We believe her

March 27, 2019

We, the staff of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, want to share our unequivocal support for Candice Russell, and for all survivors, whether or not they choose to share their stories. Candice is a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Texas community, starting five years ago as a Next Generation program member and later as a NARAL Pro-Choice Texas board member. We stand behind her, we support her, we believe her.

Candice is always honest and brave, speaking truth to power even when it is hard or uncomfortable. She shared her story this week, knowing that attacks on her character and integrity were inevitable so that other women who have experienced sexual misconduct and predatory behavior at the hands of Dr. Willie Parker know they are not alone.

Social justice movements, and particularly reproductive health, rights, and justice spaces, are not immune from bad actors, but how we, the movement, and those in power handle these moments when confronted is what should set us apart.

We must ensure that each individual is heard. We must believe those who tell their stories. We must hold responsible parties accountable. We must create a culture where every individual has the tools and support to flourish, excel, and feel safe. We will not tolerate putting the movement above any individual. When we stop incorporating our values into the everyday work, we lose.

When organizations that purport to stand for justice for all silence individuals, they become complicit in the culture that keeps survivors from speaking their truth. We must do better. Each organization, each one of us is responsible for creating the world we want to live in, one where when harm happens, we hold each other closer and move towards healing and accountability.

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas believes survivors, we believe Candice, and we commit to do our part in making the movement a safer place for everyone.

Supporters:

The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity

If your organization would like to sign on to our statement, email [email protected]