I Lived in Terror as an Undocumented Youth. Now Second Lady of Pennsylvania, I’m Standing With U.S. Dreamers

We were undocumented immigrants from Brazil living in a small apartment in Queens. As a girl, my mother’s parting words to my brother and me were the same every morning. “I love you. Have a great day. Be invisible.”

Today, I’m an American citizen, the second lady of Pennsylvania and the founder of three nonprofits that support underrepresented communities. But I still know in my bones the terror of living in the shadows.

It’s time for the Senate to step up, pass the Dream and Promise Act and stop using Dreamers as bargaining chips.

#TimesUp: Hollywood’s Lack of Progress and Failure to Believe In All Women

Four years after #TimesUp brought public attention to the entertainment industry, calling out a widespread problem of sexual abuse, we reflect on the present state of the industry and how it continues to fail women, especially women of color.

While progress has been made—it is slow moving and lacks diversity. The entertainment industry works against women and people of color, portraying a sense of inclusivity that realistically is limited to a select few. Hollywood continues to cast doubt on their ability to deliver high value, quality media; despite the significant role women and people of color had in shaping the industry.

Stop Treating Violence Against Asian American Women as Just a Racism Problem

Six months after the Atlanta spa shootings prompted a national conversation about anti-Asian hate in this country, we better understand how deeply systemic this violence is, especially for Asian American women. AAPI women and girls are subject to anti-Asian racism and misogyny.

AAPI women have experienced high rates of harassment and violence as a result of dehumanizing stereotypes, affecting them at home and in the workplace. Asian American women’s experience with violence often is overlooked as reporting services struggle to meet their needs, often linguistically and culturally, which are critical in providing adequate support to victims of abuse.

Sexual Abuse Survivors and Advocates Ask NJ Governor for More Time to Sue Perpetrators

Eleven national organizations that deal with sexual abuse are asking New Jersey’s governor to extend a Nov. 30 deadline after which considerably fewer victims of sexual trauma will be able to sue those who hurt them.

“Adding time to this crucial ‘window’ would expose child molesters and make more vulnerable kids safer,” said Mark Crawford, the New Jersey director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “It would also enable more still-suffering victims to find the strength and courage to take action against those who hurt them.”

A Devastating Supreme Court Decision on Sexual Assault Shows Why the U.S. Needs the ERA Now

When she was a college freshman in 1994, Christy Brzonkala was gang-raped by two students at Virginia Tech. Brzonkala turned to a law newly passed called the Violence Against Women Act—and her case made it to the Supreme Court, where women’s right to equal protection from violence ultimately died.

When passed, the Equal Rights Amendment would spark Congress to enact new laws on gender violence, including redrafting the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy, and chart a path to overturn Brzonkala’s devastating decision.

The Danger of Plea Deals in Sexual Assault Cases

An excerpt from Punishment Without Trial: Why Plea Bargaining is a Bad Deal by Carissa Byrne Hessick on the danger plea deals pose in sexual assault cases:

Jeffrey Epstein’s power translated to favorable treatment as he worked his way through the U.S. justice system—but you don’t have to have millions of dollars or be friends with a president and a prince. You just have to convince a prosecutor that it isn’t worth the time or the effort.

Femicide: The Need To Name Gender-Based Killing of Women in the United States

The U.S. downplays the growing issue of gender-based killings and violence by failing to call it what it is: femicide.

Recent high-profile murders have received immense media coverage, but the reality is they aren’t rare events. Femicide is a global issue that disproportionately impacts BIPOC women and requires urgent action to prevent. The U.S. needs to adopt a language of femicide that recognizes the gendered nature of ongoing murders of women in the nation, as well as the larger social patterns connecting them.