By Danielle Noonan
Take a mental road trip with me, readers. I want you to imagine what places like Prevail are working toward and why we do what we do. Our destination is a future without violence, a future without preventable, power-based trauma. What does that future look like to you? Who is there, and who helped us get there? If we are doing anti-violence work toward this future, then what are we for?
At Prevail, we know that power and control are the catalysts of violence. When control is unjust, it’s called oppression. In our work, we have a long legacy and well-documented history with oppression as a root cause of violence and the systems that allow it to continue. More recently, our organization has not only been asking What are we for? but also asking some accountability questions, because we know we have a role to play in working toward this future. Questions like: Is Prevail a system that allows this to continue? If not, how are we serving the most marginalized and most vulnerable people in our community? How can we continue to create safe, healing, and supportive spaces for all?
We need Prevail to be accessible to all survivors. All survivors. Whether you’re 6 or 60, our role is to stop ageism from limiting your access to services. If you are multilingual or speak ASL, our role is to provide language advocacy to make our services accessible. We serve all genders and all sexual orientations, because we know that violence impacts these communities without discrimination. Our services are free and confidential, because poverty and privacy can be barriers. In order to continue the work we have been doing, we are actively working on what our role is in the anti-racism and racial justice space in our community. Understanding and unpacking racism is important for us to do, because on this road to anti-violence we will cross many intersections with overlapping needs to meet.