My response regarding allegations against Mayor Murray

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On April 12, 2017, I issued the following statement.

Since Thursday, our city has been shaken by the allegations of sexual abuse brought forward against Mayor Murray.

While I cannot speak to the veracity of the claims, allegations of rape and abuse should always be taken seriously and investigated with care and diligence. I also believe it is vital to not remain silent on a matter such as this.

Our society, plagued by inequality and enormous imbalances of both power and wealth, is a painful place for sexual violence survivors.

I believe such serious charges must not be tried in a court of public opinion, which is so often cruel to survivors, and can be unjust for everyone involved. We have heard in recent days how survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence are reliving their own experiences of summoning the courage to come forward only to have their characters attacked. For many survivors, healing from the psychological violence of sexual abuse is a difficult, and sometimes lifelong process.

Regardless of the outcome of this specific case, we need a real discussion about rape, molestation, sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence in our society, and in that discussion the voices of survivors must be centered. Programs to provide support and counseling for survivors of abuse must be fully funded, paid for by taxing the rich, and widely available. I stand at the ready to work with advocates, survivors, and the community.