Next Door Solutions’ Statement on Protests in Iran

As an agency and a member of a vast and diverse community, we must acknowledge and stand in solidarity with the Iranian-American community. The tragedy occurring in Iran is not only an issue of gender-based violence but all basic human rights. It is about an individual’s right to choose. Next Door Solutions (NDS) understands the lasting negative impact the oppression of women has on an individual, a family, or a community. Iranian women are being oppressed, criminalized, and murdered by the Islamic Regime in ways that are difficult even to imagine. Women have been kidnapped and murdered by the government police for singing in public, not properly wearing a hijab, and a myriad of other unjustified reasons. 

In recent weeks victims 22-year-old Masha Amini, and teenager Nika Shakarami have received attention on social media, sparking protests worldwide. Last week at Sharif University, Iran’s top university, all students, professors, and personnel were trapped, kidnapped, beaten, shot at, or killed by the regime’s police because some of the students had peacefully protested against the regime’s inhumane actions. The people of Iran are being silenced, despite decades of resistance and activism. NDS views and treats ALL forms of gender-based violence as unacceptable. NDS stands for empowerment, activism, and advocacy. This does not change when the harm happens outside our immediate community, county, or country.

 To ignore this issue solely because it is not happening in our country does a disservice to our values as an agency, the Iranian-American survivors we serve, and those in our lives we love and cherish. Our vision is of “a community environment that breaks the silence” and we cannot be a community that is selective about when to be vocal – we cannot turn away when communities are deliberately isolated and silenced and asking for help. We stand with those that fight to end gender-based violence and the oppression of women. NDS stands with the people of Iran, with the Iranian Americans trying to support their families. We encourage everyone to educate themselves on the issue and spread awareness, as mass media is not adequately covering it at this time. We encourage you to advocate for your community, for your loved ones, and for women’s rights, while we continue working towards our mission to end gender-based violence “in the moment and for all time”, everywhere.