Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton: Call to Defund the Police in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
June 25, 2020

To City of Edmonton elected officials:

Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE) is writing in solidarity with local Black organizers, including the Black Lives Matter Edmonton chapter, to call for the Cityโ€™s immediate defunding of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS).

SAVE is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stand in solidarity with survivors/victims by creating awareness campaigns on issues of sexualized violence. It was originally founded as a coalition of the EPS, Edmonton and area sexual assault counselling and crisis services, and sexual violence prevention educators and activists. Historically, this collaboration has perpetuated the deep roots of white supremacy and racism by prioritizing relationships with policing organizations over the lives of Black and Indigenous people, people of colour, people experiencing poverty, sex workers, LGBTQ2S+ folks, and people with disabilities.

๐—ก๐—ผ๐˜„, ๐—ฆ๐—”๐—ฉ๐—˜ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜† ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต, ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜†, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—ฆ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป. The current members of SAVE know that policing practices fail to bring justice for victims/survivors, and even increase trauma symptoms. We also know that sexual violence and anti-black racism are interconnected issues in a settler colonial society that values domination, control, and forms of hierarchical power. The result is a policing system where survivors/victims are not believed, and are responsibilized for their own experience, thus exposing them to further violence--especially in the case of Black and Indigenous people. Attempts at police reform through awareness campaigns, advocate case reviews, and implicit bias training have never succeeded in ending police violence. Ultimately, our experience shows us that police donโ€™t keep our communities safe. It is a reactive system that will never address the root causes of sexual violence.

We understand that the work to end sexual violence is one facet of many rich and ongoing movements to end all systems of oppression, including anti-black racism. We envision a city in which everyone is working toward a future without sexualized violence--where the attitudes and norms that are at the root of that violence are discouraged, individually and societally. To reach this goal, we need to undertake the important work of divesting from police. This means immediately limiting the scope of policing in our community while working towards the complete elimination of police presence in Edmonton. We call on City Council to do the same.

In alignment with the statement developed by Black Lives Matter (BLM) YEG, we are asking that you pledge to enact and pursue the following:

โ€ข ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—ฆโ€™ $๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿด๐Ÿฏ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ into new grassroots infrastructure that prioritizes community safety for Black, Indigenous and otherwise marginalized communities using these principles.
โ€ข ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—ฆ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜.
โ€ข ๐—ง๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ $๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฑ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ promised to EPS in 2019.
โ€ข ๐—ง๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ $๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฑ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ต ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐˜†-๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€.

Unsurprisingly, when we no longer rely on police, a whole host of community alternatives become apparent. For example, investing in education, increased mental health services, housing for all, a universal living wage, harm reduction services, conflict resolution options, and transformative justice practices. And when we are invested in the wellness of those most marginalized in our community, putting an end to the cycle of abuse might actually be possible. So please, join us in asserting that Black lives matter by calling for an end to policing in Edmonton.


Sincerely,


Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE) Board

Samantha Pearson - SAVE Board Member

Aakhil Lakhani - SAVE Board Member

Kenzie Gordon - SAVE Board Member

Jerra Hjelte - SAVE Board Member

Scott Paradis - SAVE Board Member

Jessie Breton - SAVE Board Member

Sara Cameron - Former SAVE Board Member

Parker (Leflar) Lieb - SAVE Non-Voting Member & former Chair

Derek Warwick - Former SAVE Board Member

Daniela Chรกvez Vega - Sexual Assault Centre Staff

Shannah Barros - Survivor and Sexual Violence Prevention Educator

Paige Cahill - Sexual Assault Centre Staff

Kimberly McCall - Former Research and Project Coordinator at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton; current Public Health Nurse

Emily Dutton - Survivor Advocate, Law Student, Regional Advocate CAEFS

Tiffany Walsh

Pragya Sharma - Former sexual assault centre staff & crisis support volunteer

Susan Larcombe - Registered psychologist

Katrina Rempel - Sexual Assault Centre Staff

Michaela Stang - Edmonton Citizen

Franki Harrogate - Registered Provisional Psychologist

Shaylee Foord - Former sexual assault centre volunteer

Cindy Eisman - Indigenous Survivor

Anthony Jay McCoy - Registered Acupuncturist

Survivor (Anonymous)

Jason Garcia - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate, Survivor, LGBTQ2S+ Public Health Worker

Brittany Rudyck - Acting President - SVAAN (Sexual Violence Advocacy & Accountability Network)

Heather Mark - Survivor

Simone A. Medina Polo - Interdisciplinary Scholar, Community Educator and Facilitator, Survivor, and Board Member of SVAAN (Sexual Violence Advocacy & Accountability Network)

Jil Jorgensen - Past Sexual Assault Centre volunteer and Crisis Intervention Worker

Kiera Forrest - Social Worker, Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate, Former Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer, Former Anti-Sexual Violence Educator

Jess Marie - Registered Social Worker

Kelsey Dawson

Julia Werkman - Sexual Assault Centre Crisis & Support Line Volunteer

Christopher Dewalt - Edmonton Citizen

Roxanne Runyon - Sexual Violence Prevention Advocate and Educator, Former SAVE Board Member

Hannah Schlamp

Tuval Dinner Nafshi - Gender-based violence prevention and sexual health educator

Katherine Ring - Trauma informed coach, former 2SLGBTQPIA+ support staff, survivor

Kristina Laban - Registered Social Worker

Tamar Dinner - Social Worker and Sexual Health Education

Stephanie Olsen - Past SAVE Board Member

Kelly Bell

Grayson Thate - Edmonton Citizen

Claudia Kelly - Advocate

Bronwyn Lucenko - Survivor, Social Worker, Former Anti-Sexual Violence Educator

Rebecca Blakey - Masters of Counselling student & Senior Editor GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine

Reena Samra - Social worker, anti-violence advocate

Brittany Hayduk - Former Sexual Violence Prevention Educator

Callum McKenzie - Survivor

Lena Betker - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Mika Burns - Child and Youth Care Worker, Former Sexual Assault Education Volunteer

Min Seo Lee - Current Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer

Sam Mason - SVAAN Board Member (Sexual Violence Advocacy and Accountability Network), CJHR Board Member (Coalition of Justice and Human Rights), STRIDE Advocate, Community Organizer, Survivor

Sherani Sivakumar - Former Sexual Assault Centre Staff, Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Kaitlin Klak - Former Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer

Stephen Symington - Former Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer

Anusha Kav - Former Sexual Violence Prevention Educator

Emma Mann - Former Sexual Assault Centre staff and volunteer, Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Amanda Jelley - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate and Educator, Survivor

Tristan Pedersen - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Veronika Ilich - Men Edmonton Volunteer

Juliana McPhail - MPH, Crisis & Support Line Volunteer

Krista - Survivor

Brandon Smith - Edmonton Citizen, Advocate

Derek Lee - Edmonton Citizen

Natasha John - Edmonton Citizen

Sequoia Maudsley

Rhiannon Duval - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate, Former Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer, Gender and Social Justice Masters Student

Brittany Mullen

Alessandro Masi

Aaron Gasparik - Edmonton Citizen

Cassandra Hamilton-Brown - 211 Community Resource Specialist

Emily Quon - Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer

Ana Hrincu - Former Sexual Assault Centre Volunteer

Allison Tunis - Art Therapist and Survivor

Amanda Peters - Survivor

Kina Schoendorfer - Survivor and Medical Advocate

Lukas Kuru - Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Erica Marr - Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer

Shania Klugh - Edmonton Citizen, Survivor, Past Volunteer

Roberta Van Norman - Former Mental Health Worker

Nikki Bernier-Singh, Anti-Sexual Violence Advocate

Randi Nixon - Anti-sexual violence advocate

Andy Trussler - Assault survivor

Sylvie Vigneux - Lawyer with the Independent Legal Advice for Survivors of Sexual Violence program

Wen Chan - Sexual Assault Crisis Support Volunteer
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