Graphic notes by Laura Chow Reeve / Radical Roadmaps
What About the Rapists?a zine by Mariame Kaba & Eva Nagao
If as Melanie Brazzell theorizes, safety is “a toolkit to be deployed,” then abolitionists want to increase the number of tools that are salutary and get rid of the tools that don’t actually serve us.
We want more safety for everyone. Yet when we tell people that we want to abolish policing and prisons, they invariably ask..."what about the rapists?"
PIC abolitionists don’t demand police and prison abolition in spite of “the rapists.” We demand abolition because the current system produces and reinforces sexual violence while using survivors to justify its existence. Fear of "the rapists" is weaponized as a justification for maintaining and reinforcing a system that creates significant violence for many people while focusing very little time on addressing sexual violence for those who are harmed. When something can't be fixed, the question is what can we build instead?
Mariame Kaba (she/her) is an organizer, educator and curator who is active in movements for racial, gender, and transformative justice. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots abolitionist organization with a vision to end youth incarceration, and has co-founded multiple organizations and projects over the years, including Survived and Punished, the Just Practice Collaborative, and Interrupting Criminalization. Mariame co-authored the guidebook “Lifting As They Climbed” in 2017, and in 2019 she published her first children’s book, “Missing Daddy.”
Eva Nagao (she/her) is an organizer based out of Los Angeles. Her work focuses on communications for grassroots organizations and resource development that supports community-based structures working to decrease reliance on policing and punishment. She started her organizing work in Chicago with groups like the Chicago Freedom School, Project Nia, and Liberation Library, among others. Outside of her work with Interrupting Criminalization, she is an active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners.
What About the Rapists? Zine