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Tell the National Crime and Punishment Museum to Take Intimate Partner Violence Seriously

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Intimate Partner Violence results in three (3) homicides in the United States every day.  These lives are not simply snuffed out as acts of “passion,” but are the horrific results of sustained patterns of psychological, sexual, and physical abuse as a means of sustaining power and control in an intimate relationship. Over the past three decades, states, local communities, and the federal government have worked together to pass comprehensive legislation making intimate partner violence a crime, ensuring the safety of families and children.

The National Crime and Punishment Museum mocks the seriousness of intimate partner violence by romanticising such homicides as crimes of “passion.”  The Valentine’s weekend exhibit "Crimes of Passion" makes light of a crime that affects thousands of Americans of all races, socioeconomic classes, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Holla Back DC! is an organization that works to end public sexual harassment and assault so we are astutely aware of the often gendered aspects -- and links between -- intimate partner violence, public sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The foundation of all of these offenses is the appropriation of personal autonomy by one individual over the other.  Whether it is intimate partner violence, public sexual harassment, or sexual assault, the underlying offense is the subjugation of one individual over another and a complete disregard for the victim’s personal agency and welfare.

We respectfully demand that the National Crime and Punishment Museum live up to their social responsibility to the community by ceasing to promote such an exhibit as an event, particularly for a holiday based on passion, romance, and love.  No matter how you spice up this exhibit, intimate partner violence has a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities and should not be taken lightly.



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