Statement on New York Appeals Court Overturning Harvey Weinstein’s Rape Conviction

We are disheartened on behalf of all survivors. When convictions are overturned regardless of the reason, it is a reminder that the traditional paths to justice through the legal system are often very hard to come by for survivors of sexual assault.  The possibility that survivors will have to testify again to the harm they experienced is very discouraging.  The decision sets a concerning legal precedent. Overturning such a high-profile case could potentially weaken efforts to hold powerful individuals accountable for their actions and may discourage future victims from seeking justice through the legal system.

This decision also highlights the need for ongoing scrutiny and reform of our legal system to ensure that it adequately serves survivors of sexual violence and holds perpetrators accountable. In a country where 975 out of 1,000 sexual assault perpetrators walk free, we must do a better job at reevaluating our current system and how it handles sexual violence cases on the criminal level.

It further underscores the ongoing need for advocacy and activism to address systemic issues related to sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. We must continue working towards a society where survivors are believed, and supported, and where justice is consistently served.

At times of unprecedented outcomes of this nature, It is important to express solidarity and support for survivors of sexual assault. Their courage in coming forward and seeking justice should be recognized and respected, regardless of legal outcomes. 

WOAR stands with the survivors who have bravely told their stories many times in both New York and Los Angeles over the last several years, and we want to recognize that those survivors who shared their stories have already had a profound positive impact by using their voice to reach others who have suffered and inspiring countless people to do what they can to prevent sexual violence from happening. There is power in voices and even more power in collective voices that inspire action and drive people to join our movement to end sexual violence. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and this is a reminder to survivors that we see you, we hear you and we support you. Wherever your journey leads, we are with you. Today’s news may bring up a mix of emotions and may feel triggering to you.  WOAR’s hotline is available 24/7 to assist and help you navigate during this time. Contact us at 
215-985- 3333