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Initial invitation letter (untitled)
by FAAR Staff

July 30, 1974

We are a group of feminists in D.C., most of us are active in the local Rape Crisis Center. We are establishing a national organization of . community-based and feminist-controlled anti-rape projects, and have chosen the name Feminist Alliance Against Rape. We feel there is a need for communication nationally (and internationally) and for more solidarity among our projects. This is particularly important at a time when government agencies and politicians are beginning to take an interest in the issue of rape. Because we see this interest as a potential threat to feminist control of the rape issue, we wish to form a united front to insure that the interest in rape works for us rather than against us.

Among the services that F.A.A.R. would provide its members are:

  • A national/international clearinghouse of information and referrals
  • A bi-monthly newsletter with news of anti-rape projects as well as a forum for political theory and a means of exchanging organizing tactics
  • Information on setting up and maintaining anti~rape projects, including incorporation and fundraising for projects, dealing with the media and public agencies, model projects, training staff, etc.
  • A national consulting service - We will connect groups or individuals who need information with established F.A.A.R.
    members who could negotiate a fee for their services as consultants. (We would also provide guidelines for negotiating fees.)

But most important - we will provide a strong public image and a structure which can look out for the interests of community-based anti~rape projects, and a feminist alternative to other national groups that may be setup around the rape issue.

We see rape, not only as a personal act, but as an institution which contributes to the physical and political subjugation of women. Our ultimate goal is an end to rape. This will not happen without major social, political and economic change wherein women have political power. With this in mind, we propose the following goals for F.A.A.R.:

  • Educate our local communities about the racist and c!assist as well as sexist implications of rape and the way rape is handled by the institutions.
  • Maximize the influence pf feminist on reforms within the institutions that deal with-rape, supporting=only-those reforms which increase control for women; and create and maintain feminist alternatives when the institutions are lacking or unresponsive.
  • Emphasize rape prevention by, among other things, encouraging women to share self-defense and protection tactics; demanding that effective security in the areas of housing, work situations and transportation be provided by the community; and directing sympathetic male energy into the education of other men; etc.
  • Insist on the right of any woman to choose whether or not to report or prosecute a rape. We reject the notion that prosecution of individual rapists is the solution to rape.
  • Develop new and more powerful rape crisis centers.
Financial support for F.A.A.R. will consist of membership dues, consulting fees and sales from articles, booklets, tapes and other organizing materials. Members will be able to obtain all such materials at a discount. Other funding sources will be investigated.

Individuals as well as groups may be members of F.A.A.R. Membership will involve paying yearly dues and accepting the goals and political direction of F.A.A.R. We also request that you keep us informed of what you're doing, what political changes you've gone through, etc. so that we can share them with others.

We are asking that you join F.A.A.R. now. Membership is $15.00 a year for Centers, anti-rape projects and groups; $10.00 a year for individuals. Groups or individuals who presently subscribe to the Rape Crisis Center newsletter can deduct $3.00 from their first year's dues. (Newsletter subscriptions can still be obtained separately.) The attached form should be filled out and mailed in. Another mailing will be sent out as soon as we have received enough feedback. Send to: Feminist Alliance Against Rape <FAAR PO box in Washington, DC>

A word should be said regarding the structure of F.A.A.R. It is our feeling that the ability of responsible, non-degreed women to develop competence and expertise in the various aspects of rape must be recognized; and we intend to promote within F.A.A.R. the leadership of these "para-professional" women.

We are very of F.A.A.R. considering together to much in need of further input to help establish the structure Please let us know your ideas and suggestions. We are also holding a national conference which would allow us to come make additional plans and discuss the politics of F.A.A.R.

We welcome women from other areas who would like to come to D.C. to work with us. Although we will not be able to pay ourselves salaries at the beginning, we are anxious to help women establish themselves in D.C. for the purpose of organizing F.A.A.R.

In Sisterhood,
Jackie MacMillan
Sue Lenaerts
Deb Friedman
Cheshire Coulter
Nancy Horner
Lynn Wehrli
Marialis Zmuda
Anna B. Woo
Linda St. Germain