“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.
The New York State Assembly passed the Child Victims Act, extending the time survivors have to file civil suits against perpetrators until they turn 55 years old. The law opens up a one-year “lookback window,” allowing survivors to file civil actions against perpetrators no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.
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.
“This cycle of sexual assault must end. We must do the work. We must evolve. We must be well.”
When we discuss and understand the Public Charge Rule, let there be no question that it will harm some of the very most vulnerable in our society—including U.S. citizen children, survivors of domestic violence and recently arrived refugees and asylum-seekers who need a small measure of social support as they bravely make their way in a new country.