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Call No.: MC 353
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: New York Women Against Rape
Title: Records of New York Women Against Rape, 1971-1984 (inclusive), 1971-1975 (bulk)
Quantity: .21 linear feet (1/2 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Minutes, newsletters, articles, etc., of New York Women Against Rape, a rape crisis center in New York City.
New York Women Against Rape (NYWAR) was formed as a rape crisis center by a group of New York women who had belonged to the Women's Anti-Rape Group (WARG). Women's Anti-Rape Group had grown out of an open meeting held at the Women's Liberation Center on October 9, 1971; while it began researching and writing a rape handbook and held a series of "rape speakouts," Women's Anti-Rape Group did not counsel rape victims.On February 22, 1973, as a result of disagreements among its members over the focus of the group's work, Marion Sawyer and four other members left Women's Anti-Rape Group and formed New York Women Against Rape. As Marion Sawyer has written, "New York Women Against Rape was feminist in its counseling theory (All women are rape victims . . .) and in its organizational style (leaderless, minimally structured); it centered on direct help to rape victims by way of psychological support, medical-legal information and referrals, while pursuing many other aspects of rape as opportunities and membership permitted." It also "quickly became a force in bringing about more just and humane treatment for sexually assaulted women in New York City."New York Women Against Rape was dissolved in 1990, due to bitter divisions among staff and board members and the lack of adequate funding.
This collection consists of Marion Sawyer's minutes from both Women's Anti-Rape Group and New York Women Against Rape meetings, a brief history of Women's Anti-Rape Group and its projects, attendance lists from Women's Anti-Rape Group's speakout, a New York Women Against Rape membership list and incorporation materials, Women's Anti-Rape Group and New York Women Against Rape publicity, and letters discussing New York Women Against Rape. The minutes, which are diary-like reports of the weekly meetings, provide a detailed history of the work of the two groups. Publicity materials include newsletters, radio broadcasts, newspaper articles, rape pamphlet material, and various anti-rape leaflets. Two of the letters are from Marion Sawyer to friends; they reveal her feelings about New York Women Against Rape and explain her reasons for leaving the organization in November 1974. The other two letters (one of which is to Marion Sawyer) discuss a particular rape case New York Women Against Rape had pursued.Women's Anti-Rape Group and New York Women Against Rape minutes containing information identifying rape victims have been redacted and the originals are closed until January 1, 2045.