Oregon Peace Institute: “We believe survivors.”

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2018; Portland, OR

Oregon Peace Institute: “We believe survivors.” 

As individuals and an organization working for peace with justice, we cannot remain silent considering the current events surrounding the confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the allegations of sexual assault. We believe survivors. We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We believe Deborah Ramirez, Julie Swetnick, and Anita Hill.

Our work for peace and justice challenges a war system that is partially maintained by patriarchy where masculine ways of conducting politics and shaping our lives are privileged. Culturally defined masculine traits like control, authoritarianism, exclusion and competition dominate the public domain. Militarism and war are extreme manifestations of negative patriarchal values, thinking and behavior. As feminist peace scholar Betty Reardon reminds us, violence against women cannot be eliminated without abolishing war and eliminating militarism and the thinking and values it brings to society.[1]

This is the context survivors of sexual assault are confronted with. It is a context which negates, belittles, ridicules, and normalizes the experiences of the victims and targets, defends the perpetrators, and silences dissent. We will not stand by this. We are angry and disheartened by this toxic masculinity, but we look forward. We hear the survivors, we see the survivors, and we act in solidarity with the survivors.

If you are a victim or target, the following organizations address the needs of survivors of sexual assault. If you are in solidarity, consider supporting them in your capacity or educate yourself through their resources:

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) – https://www.rainn.org/; the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

PAVE – http://pavingtheway.net/; national nonprofit that works both to prevent sexual assault and heal survivors through social advocacy, prevention education, and survivor support.


The Board of Directors of the Oregon Peace Institute

Alison Allen-Hall, Paloma Ayala Vela, Cynthia Fowler, Robert J. Gould, Tom Hastings, Patrick Hiller, Adam Vogal


The Oregon Peace Institute promoted and make available education and resources for peace and nonviolent conflict resolution in individual, community, national global and environmental contexts.

For further comment or questions, please contact us at Oregon.Peace.Institute[at]gmail.com or directly reach out to a director via the website www.orpeace.us


[1] See the chapter “The Perils of Patriarchy are Being Challenged” in the report “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (2018-19 Edition) by World Beyond War (www.worldbeyondwar.org)