Memphis Says No More’s token victim, Whitney Wood, said “no more” to the campaign after learning it was a publicity stunt for the city.
After three years, Whitney’s ex-husband was finally prosecuted for aggravated assault. She believes the prosecutors decided to file charges because she was featured in a Memphis Says No More ad.
She now believes that whatever was spent on the campaign would have been better spent on investigating crimes.
Her story is on the front page of the Sunday Commercial Appeal, and it ends with these two paragraphs:
Though Wood believes No More can do good, she said her case serves as a cautionary tale for officials who need to know where to invest the most resources: In investigation and in ensuring police take these cases seriously.
“The direction that it’s taken is not really victim focused,” she said. “It doesn’t actually change the problems that we need to change. People know that it’s not OK to hit women. Right? People know that it’s not OK to rape women. But what they also know is it’s not likely that they’re ever going to face any consequences for it.”
We are proud to say that Whitney is now a member of PERL!
People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws is a program of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center to monitor law enforcement responses to sexual violence. Our goal is to end the law enforcement and political practices that effectively decriminalize sexual violence. To this end, we connect victims with information about their rights and equip individuals with tools to advocate for themselves and others and advocate for fair criminal justice policies. We urge you to learn more about America’s hidden rape crisis, where it has been exposed, and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support our efforts to make sure law enforcement takes rape seriously.