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

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Ching-In Chen, Jai Dulani, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
South End Press, 2011 - Family & Relationships - 325 pages
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"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 for either of you? Was the 'healing circle' a bunch of bullshit? Is the local trans community so small that you don’t want you or your partner to lose it?

"We wanted to hear about what worked and what didn’t, what survivors and their supporters learned, what they wish folks had done, what they never want to have happen again. We wanted to hear about folks’ experiences confronting abusers, both with cops and courts and with methods outside the criminal justice system."
—The Revolution Starts at Home collective

Long demanded and urgently needed, The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities finally breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the “secret” of intimate violence within social justice circles. This watershed collection of stories and strategies tackles the multiple forms of violence encountered right where we live, love, and work for social change—and delves into the nitty-gritty on how we might create safety from abuse without relying on the state. Drawing on over a decade of community accountability work, along with its many hard lessons and unanswered questions, The Revolution Starts at Home offers potentially life-saving alternatives for creating survivor safety while building a movement where no one is left behind.

Ching-In Chen is the author of The Heart's Traffic.

Kundiman Fellow Jai Dulani is an interdisciplinary storyteller and activist/educator.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is the author of Consensual Genocide.

Andrea Smith is the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide.

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About the author (2011)

Ching-In Chen (editor): Ching-In Chen is the award-winning author of The Heart's Traffic: A Novel in Poems, listed by Hyphen among the 10 most notable books by Asian Americans in 2009. A multi-genre, border-crossing writer, Chen is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, she has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston. Her work has appeared in Fifth Wednesday Journal, OCHO, Water~Stone Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Rio Grande Review, Cha, Verdad and the anthology Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and winner of the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, among others, Chen has also been awarded residencies and fellowships from the Voices of Our Nations Foundation, Soul Mountain Retreat, Vermont Studio Center, and the Paden Institute. She is currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Jai Dulani (editor): Jai Dulani is an MFA candidate in the Integrated Media Arts program at Hunter College. An interdisciplinary storyteller, Dulani has been an Austin Project Fellow and a BCAT/ Rotunda Gallery Multi-Media Artist-in-Residence. Dulani has worked as a consultant on LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence issues and facilitated leadership programs for young women, immigrant youth and LGBTQ youth in NYC. A recipient of the Third Wave Foundation Scholarship for Young Women & Trans Activists and a Slam Winner at the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe, Dulani is also a Kundiman fellow.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (editor): The award-winning author of Consensual Genocide, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer Sri Lankan writer, performer and teacher. She is the 2009-10 Artist in Residence at UC Berkeley's June Jordan's Poetry for the People program, a 2009 Sins Invalid performer and the co-founder and co-artistic director of Mangos With Chili. A frequent contributor to Bitch, Make/Shift, and ColorLines magazines, her work has been widely anthologized in such collected volumes as Yes Means Yes; Visible: A Femmethology; Homelands; Colonize This!; We Don't Need Another Wave; Bitchfest; Without a Net; Dangerous Families; Geeks, Misfits and Outlaws; and A Girl's Guide to Taking Over The World.

Andrea Smith (preface): Andrea Smith is Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at UC Riverside. She is the award-winning author and/or editor of several books, including Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances (Duke University Press); Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide; The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex; and The Color of Violence: The INCITE! Anthology. Smith currently serves as the US Coordinator for the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, and she is co-founder of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. She recently completed a report for the United Nations on Indigenous Peoples and Boarding Schools.

Contributors include: Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), Gina de Vries, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ana Lara, Mango Tribe, Philly's Pissed, UBUNTU

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