Women stand together in defense of latest attacks

From the Dec. 25 edition of Street Roots

It isn’t often that I get the opportunity to write about positive things anymore. But here’s the thing. I have recently witnessed my community stand as one and say we’re not gonna tolerate this anymore.

What can I say, watching as people come together to do anything is moving. There have been several attacks in the last couple weeks on homeless women and on sex workers. No, we didn’t go to the police. Why would we? They don’t stand for us.

What we did do was pass out whistles and educate the community about the situation. There are now foot patrols going on, and people are bonding and providing safe places for the single women in this community.

I did write about this, in answer to the women’s response, in the form of an open letter to the perp. Make no mistake: This is not a call to violence. It is a celebration of unity, and it is what we have to say to anyone seeking to victimize people. If it sounds violent, I would remind you that rape and assault are far more violent then this — and the long-lasting effects on the victims are far more painful to live through.

open letter to the perp


we know who you are

we carry the sight of you

out of the corners of

eyes that no longer

stay still or sleep

we carry the putrid scent of you

between the thighs

you desecrated

in memories

we pulled it from the hearts of

our mothers

who used their own bodies

to shield our souls

from the

sight of your wreckage

we carry the knowledge

of your attempt

to sacrifice the sacred

and to profane the mother


make no mistake

we still own the skin

we live in

you didn’t win

we still stand

but we dont

stand alone

our own

stand with us


we have dropped this information

like a bomb


into the hearts and souls

of our fathers

of our brothers

and we slammed it home

between the hips of

our lovers

(what did you think we were,

bereft of options?)


now THEY know

who YOU are

and wait

hungrily for your return

deep into the heart of the concrete jungle

they will sing our songs

they will celebrate us home

they will reclaim what you desecrated

and they will

bring you

what you

brought us

and then

we will


our own



Commentary and poem by Julie McCurdy

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