Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
On Friday, San Francisco housing activist Sasha Perigo went public about her rape by another local activist, Jon Jacobo. We commend Sasha’s courage and bravery in sharing this very personal trauma in great detail in order to both lessen her own burden of keeping this secret, and in making it public so the community is aware of a predator among us. We believe Sasha.
This is a wake up call for the San Francisco political community. In political circles, and more broadly, any circles of influence and power, our patriarchal and misogynistic society lets men in prominent positions get away with being predators and abusing their power, influence and status. Oftentimes their status results in a lack of accountability and is used both to silence victims and enable ongoing access to new victims. We must normalize holding abusers to account no matter what circles they may run in or no matter how much they have “done” for the community. No amount of service, advocacy, activism, money, etc. outweighs or excuses predatory behavior.
We commend Supervisors Walton, Ronen, and Melgar, BART Board Directors Li and Dufty and others in the San Francisco political community for speaking out publicly on their support for Sasha and women who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, and their swift calls for Jacobo to resign from his position as a City Commissioner, which he has now done.
We call on all of our elected officials to use their voice, platform, responsibility and influence to empower and uplift victims of sexual abuse and swiftly address concerns of assault, harrassment, and predatory behavior in their circles, including with staff, donors and friends. Sexual abuse should be condemned across political lines and stature. Silence is complicity.
Our culture and society will only change when we make it clear that this behavior and abuse is wholly unacceptable and has consequences. “No” means no. The behavior of trying to coerce women into escalating sexual touching and/or acts is NOT consent and is a core driver of sexual assault. There is zero tolerance for abuse and ignoring the need for unambiguous and affirmative consent in sex.
If you have experienced sexual assault in San Francisco and need assistance, the city has information and resources available. Additional resources and hotlines to call for 24 hour assistance, crisis counseling, and other support services can be found here.
The SFWPC Board