SFWAR was founded in 1973 by a collective of women committed to anti-racist feminist principles. Many were sexual assault survivors.
They believed strongly in the leadership of survivors and working to end rape. They understood sexual assault to be a weapon of oppression used to subordinate marginalized communities. Therefore, it became their task to challenge systems of oppression designed to control and exploit specific groups of people for the benefit of other groups. These early commitments have greatly shaped and underpin SFWAR’s current philosophical tenets and vision.
- Believes ending all forms of oppression is integral to ending sexual assault, and we strive to challenge oppression within our organization and communities;
- Recognizes the importance of survivors making their own decisions and we actively support survivors in doing so;
- Understands that sexual assault is a political issue and that the anti-sexual assault movement must be political;
- Strives to centralize the experiences of individuals and communities who have historically been and currently are neglected and under attack, many of whom experience multiple forms of oppression and violence ;
- Commits to identifying the links between interpersonal and state violence in order to address the needs of survivors in a holistic manner;
- Educates ourselves about the struggles against oppression–following the lead of the communities we work with;
- Remains dedicated to women of color leadership, as we recognize the critical importance of challenging historical legacies of racial inequality within the anti-rape and women’s movements.
- Believes only when entire communities take responsibility for making rape unacceptable, will we all live free from sexual violence.