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 me too. International’s Statement on Weinstein Decision

The overturning of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction is a miscarriage of justice and a devastating blow to survivors of sexual assault everywhere. This decision is a chilling reminder that the legal system does not prioritize the safety and well-being of survivors, nor is it always the most effective mechanism to hold powerful perpetrators accountable for their reprehensible actions. 

Courts have never been a bastion of justice, where victims can seek recourse, and perpetrators face the consequences of their crimes; and it is clear that they require the groundswell of a powerful movement pushing them in the right direction. However, cases like Weinstein’s highlight systemic flaws within a legal system that often fails survivors. For every 100 rapes and sexual assaults of teenage girls and women reported to police, only 18 lead to an arrest, according to a study conducted by the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at research university UMASS Lowell. This means that overturning the Harvey Weinstein conviction continues to underscore the uphill battle survivors face in seeking justice through the court system. It reinforces the notion that voices of survivors are not credible and are too often silenced or disregarded.

This decision not only undermines the bravery of Weinstein’s accusers but also perpetuates a culture of impunity for sexual predators. It sends a dangerous message that influential individuals can evade accountability for their crimes, further perpetuating cycles of abuse and trauma. It confirms that the legal system is not going to upend the violence survivors face or be a reliable intervention to end sexual violence for all survivors. 

While we are disappointed in the New York Court of Appeals decision, we are not deterred. Our legal system must catch up to the lived experiences of survivors, and we understand that we cannot stop pushing – for legal reform, for shifting societal norms toward greater safety and bodily autonomy, for consent culture, and for survivor justice. We will continue to build this movement by organizing and advocating  for survivors. Advocating for survivors means prioritizing survivor-centered approaches and holding perpetrators accountable, regardless of their influence or access to money. The survivor justice movement aims to disrupt rape culture through narrative shifting, healing, and policy changes, rather than relying solely on carceral systems.While we stand in solidarity with the survivors of this case, no matter the outcome – ultimately we will win. The viral moment was a clarion call. This is another. And our steadfast commitment is that the movement to end sexual violence is active, ready, and going nowhere.