What’s at stake for domestic violence advocates

Turkos remains bothered by RAINN’s silence on Roe, and expressed skepticism about who the organization is prioritizing. “Why are they remaining silent? I would bet they’re nervous to lose funding. They’re nervous if they say something about abortion, they will.”

Notably, in the summer of 2020 amid the nationwide uprising for racial justice, nearly 50 sexual assault and domestic violence state coalitions signed onto the “Moment of Truth” letter, which detailed the harms of policing and prisons on victims of abuse. Shortly after signing the letter, one of the groups lost funding, while others said police departments stopped referring abuse victims to their services. Anti-violence organizations could likewise possibly face retaliatory behavior for speaking about abortion rights. Still, Turkos said they should be beholden to survivors who may need abortion care—not funders or law enforcement: “Who matters more?”

Wanjuki told Jezebel in addition to possible funding issues, it’s also “important to remember a lot of anti-violence organizations are underfunded, overworked, understaffed”—a similar sentiment to what Desangles suggested. But those with the resources have an obligation to center reproductive justice in their work. “I would really just like to see them show they know what is at stake for survivors, and not just that, but how abortion restrictions have already contributed to our suffering, contribute to rape culture.”

That abortion bans and sexual violence are compartmentalized ultimately reflects a broader failure to understand these as “systemic issues,” Wanjuki continued. “If we start looking at rape culture [and] reproductive oppression beyond a violation of an individual person, but as a sort of inherent violation of justice in the world, we can get so much further.”