Forced marriage is a serious but neglected form of gender-based violence in the United States. And more often than not, it is just one part of a spectrum of other harms that a woman who is forced to marry may face in her lifetime.
Last week, over 1,700 advocates, practitioners and public figures working to end sexual violence came together to forge a new path forward in their movement. Ms. was there, too—talking with movement leaders and advocates about what it will take to end sexual violence in the wake of #MeToo.
RALIANCE firmly believes sport is part of the solution to ending sexual violence in one generation—and so does the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, who helped a network of 30,000 soccer coaches across the U.S. better understand sexual violence and prevention and have access to solutions for their teams.
“Health systems must be designed to meet the healthcare needs of the survivor—whether or not evidence collection is part of the equation.”
“We are not interested in serving problems any more; rather, we need to solve the systemic problem of sexual violence by convening all of the stakeholders that both contribute to perpetuating this epidemic and to ending it.”
We don’t have to look far to see examples of ineffective action or harm—from policy based on an oversimplified understanding to organizations that claim to “rescue” and “save” those they are helping. To create a thriving movement for social change, those with lived experience need to be leading at every level.
What we do and say about sexual harassment, abuse and assault matters. That’s why I’m thrilled to see many in the legal profession expanding the conversation beyond emergency relief to provide comprehensive legal services for survivors.
“One of the best things schools can do to help prevent child sexual abuse is to talk about it.”
We cannot forget the revelations that #MeToo has taught us, and we must channel these lessons to enact culture changes in behavior and attitudes that will ultimately prevent sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse from occurring in the first place.
I’m a journalist with 30 years of coverage of disability issues—and almost any person with an intellectual disability I got to know would tell me a story of an assault. They talked about how they weren’t believed or taken seriously. They talked about how this was a problem that others didn’t talk about, but should.