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The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
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The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

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4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  26 reviews

"Was/is your abusive partner a high-profile activist? Does your abusive girlfriend’s best friend staff the domestic violence hotline? Have you successfully kicked an abuser out of your group? Did your anti-police brutality group fear retaliation if you went to the cops about another organizer’s assault? Have you found solutions where accountability didn’t mean isolation f

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Paperback, 325 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by South End Press (first published May 1st 2011)
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Jenny Devildoll
Sep 04, 2012 Jenny Devildoll rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who can separate wheat from chaff
Recommended to Jenny by: feministing.com write up
A seemingly necessary anthology (EDIT AFTER READING CHRYSALIS COLLECTIVE ESSAY THIS IS NOT NECESSARY AT ALL), I picked this up at Word Up! a pop up bookstore in Washington Heights. I'm going to jot down thoughts on each essay as I read them.
1) Reclaiming Queer & Trans Safety - Morgan Bassichis Calls for dismantling of all governmental institutions that have thus far failed to keep us safe(police, prisons), but doesn't offer any realistic alternatives. Let's all confront rapists and abusers i
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Tinea
Nov 20, 2011 Tinea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tinea by: Adrienne
In the movement striving to create alternative, restorative forms of justice that respect survivors' needs and wishes while simultaneously respecting and embracing the humanity of aggressors, we are... somewhere muddying and confusing. This book lays out what has been tried and what has been theorized, and while it's clear that the visions have yet to pan out perfectly in practice, the experiences laid out here are practical enough that you start to see how the paradigm could work, could really ...more
Roxanna Banana
I think this is essential reading, but with a critical mind. Maybe i don't believe in restorative justice, maybe i think there are too many people in the world. I think intimate violence needs to be addressed more often, but I think that white males SHOULD have the system used against them. Why does it need to be used against racialized people only? In the Chrysalis collective's story, a young activist of colour was sexually assaulted by a white male and they decided to use restorative justice. ...more
Katherine
I suppose it's appropriate that I received confirmation that my sexual assault case had been rejected by the DA on the same day my copy of The Revolution Starts at Home arrived in the mail.

I'd long since come to realize that going to the cops represented, at best, a totally inadequate response to what my abusive ex-partner and I have gone through, and at worst, a form of vengeance-by-the-system inflicted on a woman, a family, and a community who already live with it constantly. For much the same
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Jose Palafox
I read this when it was submitted for possible publication at the place I used to work. This is amazing, get it when it comes out! Right on to South End Press for putting this book. There are some xeroxed versions of this as a zine but, as a book, it is much more complete.
Maddee
Really good. Amazing combinations of survivor stories and personal writing with people who have a lot of experience within collectives, accountability circles, not-for-profits, social justice circles, organisations and queer communities about how they went about dealing with harm, what things worked, how they approached the situation, how it failed, and what their ethos was. The "practical" stuff wasn't separated from the emotional and holistic. I love how this book approaches the complicated wa ...more
woody fanon
five stars lit but I gave it a four for one reason: to confront abusers without support from qualified individuals is problematic. Sure, some abusive activists are capable of seeing the errors of their way but to determine that a meeting with peers will somehow encourage the abuser to stop is absurd. Self awareness and intelligence will not be the end all for abusive activists.
come on now.
Eighteen
This book talks about domestic abuse/violence primarily within activist communities of color (and what to do about it). A friend recommended that I read it, and even though the experiences of the contributors weren't so similar to my own, it was incredibly validating just to read other people describe and use language talking about abuse and behavior of abusers/unhealthy relationships.
molly
Jun 02, 2011 molly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: tools
this is a really good tool for thinking about and reflecting on different community accountability processes within activist communities. i read it in a study group on different community accountability models.
South End Press
Make your movement: Support indie publishers and indie bookstores directly, whenever you can! And does your local library have a copy yet? If not, remember your right to request a purchase.
Cat
Sep 04, 2013 Cat rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cat by: sylas
i'm really glad i read this book. it offers many powerful, useful ideas AND strategies, which isn't always easy to find.
Victoria Law
More stories, more experiences please! We need to share these strategies more!
David
Informative, eclectic collection of pieces relating to intimate partner violence, especially in activist communities, mostly sexual minority communities. Raises lots of complications such as how same-gender couples violence throws off our usual assumption when decoding conflicting reports that it must be the (usually) larger and more physically powerful man who is the perpetrator and the woman who is the victim/survivor. Also deals with how perpetrators who are themselves members of oppressed gr ...more
Cecelia
This is an excellent book jammed packed full of awesome information such as transformative and restorative justice and the resource - '"How is gender oppression within progressive, radical and/or revolutionary movement(s) maintained, supported, encouraged?" However I've noticed that the group of contributors know each other, work with each other and therefore I will only give this book a 3 star rating. I wish other voices would of been included that are not well known or even excluded within the ...more
Mk
Nov 13, 2013 Mk rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: queer, trans
This brought up a lot of feelings, and I don't really know what to say beyond that. In addition to sexual assault, it made me think a lot about mental health and disability and meanings of community and support and the fine line between self-care and selfishness. As I took stock of all that, and of how we all try so hard, and how we fail each other and ourselves all the fucking time, I just got super sad. I didn't finish the book, but I got about two thirds through. My favorite essay of what I r ...more
Avory


I would recommend this anthology as must-read for progressive activists. The authors address interpersonal violence in activists' lives, particularly from a woman-of-color perspective, addressing the ways in which interpersonal violence harms activists and activist work. These essays also offer practical solutions, idealistic in their vision and realistic when describing challenges. With a focus on transformative justice, this volume gives activists actual strategies to address violence without
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Anjali
"While 'reverse isms' are not possible because of the lack of institutional power to subjugate folks in privileged groups, oppression (and the intersections of its various manifestations) does not operate in the linear or binary manner frequently represented in 'power and privilege charts.' This can present challenges to activist groups attempting to apply ideological frameworks when evaluating and responding to abuse in intimate relationships. The personal is political, but the personal is fran ...more
Rachel Lee
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Beautifully written. Compilation of essays and poetry exploring intimate violence, accountability, challenging/healing from abuse and trauma. It's focused on activist communities, but the info is applicable to anyone who is interested in healing from the trauma inflicted upon us daily by living in this rape culture that only allows for in piece meal solutions that are informed by the very systems they are purporting to challenge.

So Inspiring.

So Empowering.

So Enlighten
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Carolyn
One of the best zines I have read in forever. Readers should be careful to make sure they're in a good and safe space before they begin reading it, however, as it has potential to be very triggering. I especially appreciated Peggy Munsen's piece on IPV and disability as it's a topic that's not discussed enough when it comes to intimacy and violence/abuse (but can we ever discuss any of these issues enough?).

Read, read again, always keep this in your head.
Brittany
This is a very important read for anyone who is fighting for safe spaces for survivors of intimate violence. It's also a great introduction to transformative justice and definitely an important resource for survivors without support from a close-to-home community.

And while I whole-heartedly suggest buying a copy to support the project, there is a PDF online that can be found with a simple search!
Wagatwe
Even if your abuser isn't involved in the activist community, there is a great collection of stories from survivors that almost any survivor could relate to. It gives great guidelines on what to do to hold people who hurt others accountable - and unfortunately true examples of the wrong ways to respond when someone accuses someone of interpersonal violence.
Sarah
Oh man i'm so excited this is finally going to be a book. I have the PDF that you can(could?) download from INCITE but I just can't handle reading a book on a screen. I pretty much love everything that Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarashina has written too.
Mattilda
Beautiful and complicated!
Liz
Read this.
Syrup
read this.
Arelis Tavarez
Arelis Tavarez marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Beth
Beth marked it as to-read
Dec 16, 2014
Monch
Monch marked it as to-read
Dec 16, 2014
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Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart's Traffic (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press) and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press). They are a Kundiman, Lambda and Norman Mailer Poetry Fellow and a member of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation and Macondo writing communities. A community organizer, they have worked in the A ...more
More about Ching-In Chen...
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