Black Women Find a Voice

By Tess Fox

This story may contain triggers for survivors of sexual assault or rape.

“The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody.” – Jim DeRogatis

Between Sandra Bland, whose mysterious suicide following a traffice violation resulted in protests, and the countless young women who have been victimized by R. Kelly, it is clear that society does not view black women as a priority. But there is a possibility that’s changing.

A portrait Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland

Daniel Holtzclaw, a police officer with Oklahoma City Police, was sentenced in January to 263 years for the rape and sexual assault of 13 women while he was on duty.

Holtzclaw preyed on women who lived in high-crime areas with rap sheets and a fear of police. Some were convicted felons, sex workers, drug abusers with histories of lying to the police. He used the police database to find women who would be considered unreliable witnesses and would be afraid to report him.

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