As you likely know, Wednesday marked the public launch of NO MORE, a national movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. The coverage of the event has been overwhelming, and we know many of you want to know more about the day’s events and this important movement. We’ve compiled some of the initial articles about the launch that we’ve been reading here at Joyful Heart so that you can read them too and get excited about coming together to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault.
For the launch of NO MORE, Joyful Heart staff members headed to Washington, D.C. with our founder, president and fearless leader Mariska. She stood with Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder as they introduced a series of new grants to reduce victims of domestic violence-related homicides. Check out those NO MORE pins on them!
While Vice President Biden spoke about the necessity for grants to fund programs to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, mark. Brand Ambassador Ashley Greene took the stand to address Congress and announced survey results from the NO MORE Study on teen dating violence, funded by the Avon Foundation:
The team then whisked off to the National Press Club, where Mariska had the honor of being the headlining speaker for their luncheon series, and was supported by Sarah Tofte, Maile Zambuto and Lendon Ebbels. Watch her dynamic and engaging speech below:
In addition to introducing NO MORE to the media, the JHF team was there with Kym Worthy, super-prosecutor from Detroit, to help advocate for ending the backlog of rape kits in Detroit and all across the country:
Lastly, from our home bases all over the country, NO MORE partners contributed to a Live Blog to chronicle the events, pictures and shed light about the issues all day. If you missed the action on NO MORE Day, take a look back here:
Stay tuned for a first-hand account of the day from one of our D.C. JHF team members!
We at Joyful Heart are thrilled to be a part of NO MORE Day, happening tomorrow, March 13. This day marks the public launch of NO MORE, the nation’s first unifying awareness symbol to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
It’s been nearly a week sincethe President signed the Violence Against Women Act into law, the nation’s cornerstone response to domestic violence and sexual assault. Yet it was over 400 days since it had expired, leaving the resources that protect victims and organizations that prevent violence and abuse in limbo from October 2011 to February of this year.
It marks four days since people across the globe celebrated International Women’s Day and a century since this celebration first began. Yet one in three women across the world experience violence in their lifetimes—rape, assault or abuse, including those who live right here in the United States.
Today, in communities across the country, advocates will join forces to address the need to end domestic violence and sexual assault by launching NO MORE, the first overarching symbol that is bringing together all people in our society to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
We invite you to join us—from wherever you are in the country—to help launch NO MORE and participate in one of the most concerted and collaborative efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.
Regardless of where you are located, you can follow along with NO MORE Day activities and updates at our online liveblog here: www.scribblelive.com/Event/NO_MORE_Day.
We’ll be using the NO MORE symbol, helping to release critical research on bystanding and tweeting along with @NOMOREorg, actress and advocate @Mariska and many, many more of our partners. Please join us.
WHAT IS NO MORE?
You’ve likely seen the pink breast cancer ribbon or the red AIDS ribbon. NO MORE is a groundbreaking new symbol designed to transform our response to domestic violence and sexual assault, end the stigma, shame and isolation, galvanize millions into action and radically increase the awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault everywhere.
WHAT IS NO MORE DAY?
On March 13, NO MORE Day, thousands of advocates and supporters across the country will unite to officially launch NO MORE.
WHY NO MORE?
Domestic violence and sexual assault are not easy to talk about, although they impact millions of men, women and children every year. Because of the stigma and shame, these issues often remain hidden in our society. NO MORE seeks to bring domestic violence and sexual assault into the national spotlight to generate more attention, more resources and more action to prevent them. NO MORE aims to empower bystanders of domestic violence and sexual assault in every community to break the silence around these issues and get involved.
WAYS TO TAKE ACTION:
- KNOW MORE. Learn the signs of domestic violence and listen without judgment to victims/survivors of sexual assault. Get the facts and know the resources available.
- Say NO MORE. Break the silence. Speak out. Seek help when you see this problem or harassment of any kind in your family, your community, your workplace or school.
- Share NO MORE. Share the NO MORE symbol with everyone you know. Facebook it. Tweet it. Pin it. Instagram it. Email it. Wear it. Help to increase awareness about the extent of domestic violence and sexual assault. Visit the NO MORE Shop at nomore.org.
- Ensure NO MORE. Get involved. Volunteer in your community, or donate to a local, state or national domestic violence or sexual assault organization.
To help elevate this conversation even more, we invite you to participate in the NO MORE Day Thunderclap, a social media tool that allows everyone who signs up to share a tweet or a Facebook post all at once. By lending your voice today—and 140 characters—to our Thunderclap, you can help make sure our message of ending domestic violence and sexual assault gets heard loud and clear on March 13.
On Wednesday at 3pm ET, NO MORE will host a special Twitter chat about NO MORE, these issues and the many ways you can take action. We’ll be tweeting along during this chat too, along with Mariska. No matter where you are, we welcome you to join by following us and the #NOMOREday hashtag.
OTHER THINGS TO DO ON NO MORE DAY:
- Request the NO MORE Toolkit at nomore.org to get the symbol and start using it.
- Start following NO MORE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Take a picture of how you’re using NO MORE in your community, or tell us why you say NO MORE. Share photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #NOMOREday
- Share this with five friends!
Events will be taking place nationwide in celebration of NO MORE Day, including:
- Washington Wizards Game (open to the public) – Come support NO MORE, get free products and see the debut of our new PSA (Purchase tickets, here. Promo code: nomore)
- Invisible War Screenings (open to the public) – Find one near you.
- A National Press Club Luncheon Hosted by Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, Actress Mariska Hargitay in Washington D.C. (sold out, but you can watch it live on press.org at 12:30pm EST.
- Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. (Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 538 at 9 am EST. Please RSVP with your name and number of guests) – Results of the new Avon Foundation-funded NO MORE Study: Teens and Young Adults on Dating Violence and Sexual Assault, to be presented by Ashley Greene, actress and ambassador for Avon.
Today, we have a guest post from country singer Buffy Lawson. Buffy arrived in Nashville, the Music City, by way of Lexington, Kentucky, where she grew up singing from an early age. Somewhere along the way, she met “Steve.”
Today, on the eve of NO MORE Day, she shares her story about awakening, surviving, healing and sharing her journey through her art.
I do not claim to be formally educated on the issue of abuse, but as a songwriter, one of my primary jobs is to pay attention to life. It has always been exceedingly important to me to inspire people through my music humorously, as well as addressing important issues.
That being said, sadly, I have had many friends and fans share stories of horrific instances of abuse. While never being physically struck myself, I have been in situations of emotional abuse and know firsthand how complicated the issue can be. Some of the strongest women I have ever met have found themselves broken down so far by their abusers that they were not able to control things from happening that they could have never imagined prior to that relationship. I was one of them.
“Steve” comes to mind. He was very kind and wonderful in the beginning. Our relationship seemed blissful but, over time, he began to become very critical of me. He did not like me to wear white t-shirts as he felt that they showed too much of my breasts. He discouraged me from wearing makeup or curling my hair. His explanation was that I looked “cheap” and not “intellectual.” Steve laughed at me if I couldn’t figure out the exact amount of a 20% tip in my head and was condescending if I couldn’t remember the lead actor name in a film we had recently seen.
But it was so gradual that I didn’t see it happening. Until my sisters came to dinner with us one evening. He belittled me in front of them and they were outraged.
I defended him, of course.
Steve cheated on me with a woman that he brought to our home, claiming they were friends. By the time I was aware of his affair, my confidence was gone. I actually recall begging him to leave her.
Much time and many tears later, I realized that Steve was threatened by me. He did everything possible to dim my beautiful light and tried his best to prevent me from shining. I later realized that Steve was trying to compensate for his own well of insecurities by breaking me down, which is often the case.
I have known many others, both male and female, who were physically assaulted by their partners, as well as a precious friend who was murdered by her husband.
It became critically important for me to write a song that would address this horrible epidemic and offer promise and hope to people that so deserve it. “I’m Leaving You For Me” is a story about a very specific moment of clarity in a person’s life when they say: NO MORE. This will not continue to be my life. It’s about the instant when fuzziness, confusion and the feeling of brokenness are replaced with confidence, strength and respect.
It is my hope that “I’m Leaving You For Me” will give wings to those who have been emotionally and or physically caged. It is my prayer that every man and woman in the world will feel the freedom to fly and shine.
Today on International Women’s Day, we pause to reflect on the current status of women worldwide and honor those among us who fearlessly stand up to empower women everywhere.
Globally, up to six out of every ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. This is not just a statistic—this number reflects the lives and futures of mothers, daughters, best friends, sisters and colleagues that have been altered forever.
International Women’s Day has brought citizens across the world together since 1908 to celebrate women’s achievements and to openly discuss what needs to be done to build a better future. Women and men worldwide join hands in paying homage to the amazing leaders who helped pave the way to global equality. We honor the movers and shakers who will help women achieve and sustain full rights and we marvel at the accomplishments we as a society have achieved since the inception of International Women’s Day. It is a day dedicated to standing together as we acknowledge that although we have made leaps and bounds, we have so much further to go until women achieve true equality in all corners of the world.
Today, we reflect, open up our hearts to one another and acknowledge members of the international community who have made significant accomplishments on behalf of women worldwide. We would like to recognize six amazing leaders who have and continue to trail blaze on behalf of women on each and every continent.
These leaders have committed their lives to protecting women’s rights and to lowering the number of those affected by sexual violence. They serve as an inspiration not only to us working in the field, but also to women and young girls everywhere. By shedding light in their own communities and on a global platform, they gracefully and fearlessly stand up to say NO MORE to violence and yes to equality.
Africa: Leymah Gbowee, Liberia
“I wish for a better life. I wish for food for my children. I wish that sexual abuse and exploitation in schools would stop. This is the dream of the African girl.”
Leymah Gbowee is the Executive Director of the Women’s Peace and Security Network and isinternationally acclaimed for her work on behalf of women in Africa. As the 2011 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Gbowee is most recognized for advocacy on behalf of women in conflict zones, whom often bear the brunt of extreme sexual violence.
In her youth, Gbowee was a victim of the Liberian civil war that took 250,000 lives and destroyed the country she loved. As a survivor of intimate partner violence and a young, newly single mother of four, she sought asylum in a refugee camp and was forced to send her children away to Ghana to ensure their safety. She began training and working as a social worker during the first conflict and eventually had a vision that lead to the formation of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement.
The Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace staged weekly interreligious pray-ins and nonviolent protests against the brutal war at local markets. They protested all forms of violence, but the violence against women and children was so rampant at the time that protecting themselves and their children in particular fueled Gbowee and the movement’s passion. The women protested regularly until peace talks were reinstated at the end of the second conflict in 2003, and the group’s enormous efforts are largely credited for bringing peace and stability to the region. Gbowee was also an influential force in getting Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her fellow 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, as the first woman elected as President in Liberia.
“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything extraordinary but take my little light and shine it in darkness,” said Gbowee, in an interview with the LA Times, “The journey has been tough; the road has been rough. But it’s been rewarding.”
To watch Leymah Gbowee discuss the impact of unlocking women’s potential, click here.
South America: Michelle Bachelet, Chile
“I know from my own experience that there is no limit to what women can do.”
Michelle Bachelet is the Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, or UNIFEM, the United Nations’ organization for the empowerment of women worldwide. She was formerly the President of Chile and is formerly trained as a pediatrician.
Dr. Bachelet is a long-time champion of women’s rights. As the first female President of Chile, she has fought and advocated for gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout her entire career, from organizing small protests in University to her leading role as Executive Director of UN Women. She experienced extreme torture during the Chilean military dictatorship, and since has been an outspoken advocate against violence. As President, she advocated for reallocating revenues to spend on desperately needed social protection for Chilean women and children. She used a portion of the money to fund research and development on public health issues relating to violence. Other initiatives that came from this fund included tripling the number of free early child-care centers for low-income families and building 3,500 child-care centers around the country.
Dr. Bachelet was elected to the head of UN Women upon its inception in 2010. She immediately instated initiatives to support and protect women worldwide, including naming the end violence against women and girls as one of the main priorities of the commission. Launched by UN Women in November 2012, the “COMMIT” project calls on leaders worldwide to fulfill their promise and take a stand by making new and concrete national commitments to end violence against women and girls.
During the past week, Dr. Bachelet presided over the largest international meeting on ending violence against women, the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57). Representatives from 85 different countries, countless NGOs and media partners listened as she spoke about initiatives to protect women and girls, and declared this the priority of the UN Women and its partners in the coming year.
“We are here in this Commission on the Status of Women because every person has the right to live free of violence and discrimination. The world can no longer afford the costs of violence against women and girls, the social and economic costs and the costs in deep human pain and suffering,” said Under-Secretary Bachelet in her opening statement.
We are so grateful to Michelle Bachelet for being an incredible voice, example and ally to the cause, and for spreading light into these issues worldwide.
To watch Michelle Bachelet discuss International Women’s day, click here.
Europe: Akima Thomas, United Kingdom
Akima Thomas is a leader in the research field of domestic violence and women’s empowerment. As the clinical director of the Women and Girls Network in the United Kingdom, she has pioneered studies about holistic treatment and spoken internationally on behalf of women who experienced trauma. She has presented and worked to spread the Women and Girls Network’s healing model all across the world.
Thomas’s organization, Women and Girls Network, incorporates a holistic method to trauma. By recognizing incidents of abuse are “injuries that bruise the sou,.” the organization has worked for 25 years to develop a curriculum integrating mind, body and spirit into the recovery process. In addition to holistic healing, Thomas advocates for proper training for healers and law enforcement officials so that they can listen and truly respond sensitively to a survivor’s needs.
Most recently, Ms. Thomas was a featured speaker at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Her presentation argued that violence against women is not a gendered issue, but rather a human rights issue engrained in our society. She presents the issues from a 360-degree perspective—everything from the financial burden of domestic violence on society to the immeasurable impact on the female gender’s sense of autonomy, liberty and ability to achieve our full potential.
By proving we can no longer afford to be silent, Akima Thomas serves as an extraordinary role model for girls worldwide.
To watch Akima Thomas discuss violence against women and girls at the CSW57, click here.
North America: Eve Ensler, USA
“You have to give to the world the thing that you want the most, in order to fix the broken parts inside you.”
Eve Ensler is an American activist who has been pushing the envelopes and rejecting the stereotypical female norm since she first wrote and performed her award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, in 1996. She has since gone on to support a wide variety of female empowerment initiatives before founding her own organization, V-Day, in 1998.
V-Day began as a way for productions of The Vagina Monologues to fundraise for anti-violence organizations across the United States. Funds raised from shows went to organizations working stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. Joyful Heart is grateful to have been one of the many recipients of a V-Day gift. These small fundraisers gained huge traction, and it has since grown into an organic global movement to create films, campaigns and movements on behalf of women everywhere. To date, V-day has fundraised over $85 million to end violence against women.
The movement recently culminated in the 15th anniversary of the organization’s founding for the launch of ONE BILLION RISING. With Ensler at the helm, the concept began with the fact that according to UN Statistics, 1 billion women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime worldwide. She invited women on February 14, 2013 to walk out of their jobs, schools, offices and homes and dance, walk or rise up in the streets. The day happened with enormous success, with participants dancing and speaking out from 205 countries across the world.
As a trail-blazer, breaker of taboos and a guiding voice in ending the silence, we are profoundly moved and grateful for Eve’s amazing work to end domestic violence and sexual assault for women everywhere.
To listen to Eve Ensler speak out about hate and violence against women, click here.
Australia and the Pacific Region: Joanna Hayter, Australia
“Working with women is central to what drives me and motivates me as a leader. Gender equality is a human right and central to economic and human development but I address this through a feminist view of humanitarianism.”
Joanna Hayter is the Executive Director of International Women’s Development Agency, based in Melbourne, Australia. She heads up the only international development agency in Australia that focuses entirely on women and girls.
Ms. Hayter is a trained nurse and holds a Masters degree in Human Resource Development. She has worked for international aid and development agencies for 25 years, with a special focus on public health access initiatives for women and children. Her programs and experiences have helped countless women and children access public health services in lieu of traumatic violence.
At the helm of the International Women’s Development Agency, Ms. Hayter has been hugely influential in the region in bringing attention to local issues such as abuse amongst aboriginal women, empowerment of battered partners and full political and civil participation of women in society. The IWDA works and partners with organizations all across Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region to bring programs to women who would previously not have received these life-changing resources. In addition to their own multitude of programs, IWDA collaborates on specific projects including building a safe house for abused Cambodian women, female mentoring programs to keep girls in school and pursuing careers and producing a documentary about women’s role in peace building in Papua New Guinea.
As International Women’s Day approached, IWDA has partnered with Nicholas Kristof’s organization Half the Sky to put on a concert featuring Australian talent. 100% of the proceeds from the show will go to benefit IWDA’s partners in the region.
Joanna’s out-of-the-box approach to fundraising and partnering with small organizations to support women across Southeast Asia and the Pacific region is so inspirational to us here at Joyful Heart, and we admire her deeply for her long-standing service and commitment to supporting women.
To read more about the work the International Women’s Development Agency does in the Southeast Asian and Pacific Region, click here.
Asia: Reecha Upadhyay, India
“We can’t be on the streets physically every day, but surely there’s something we can do. I felt the need to continue the movement to demand safety for women.”
Based out of New Delhi, Reecha Upadhyay is a filmmaker and co-founder of the Jamun Collective. She works to shed light and document humanitarian issues all across the globe, and most recently was one of five women who organized the “One Billion Rising: India” flash dance mob in New Delhi, India to protest sexual assault and violence against women.
This event took on special meaning in New Delhi, as it was the recent site of the brutal rape of a young student that garnered media attention all across the world. Ms. Upadhyay and her colleagues united thousands of Indians across the city to peacefully protest this and all other forms of violence against women via dance. They joined together to encourage women to flood the streets and claim their rights to march, dance and sing in the streets without being fearful for their safety.
Prior to the day of action, Ms. Upadhyay traveled around and documented local women “rising up” to combat domestic violence and sexual assault by video. By filming simple stories, she provided a medium for survivors and those affected by violence to speak up and have a voice in the movement. Her promotional videos featuring young Indian women now have over 40,000 views on YouTube, and were a huge part of garnering buzz around the event. Ms. Upadhyay’s short video and her group were featured in The New York Times for their significance and impact.
Formerly based in New York, Reecha has a long history entrenched in human rights issues. She has partnered with the United Nations Development Program on conflict and disaster prevention and recovery in Geneva, South Sudan and New Delhi. She has also been based in Thailand and Nepal. She implemented “Stop Rape Now” campaign and works to develop communications strategies for important issues.
Through telling stories of those touched by violence and giving young women everywhere a peaceful medium to exercise their joyful right to dance and sing without fear, Reecha Upadhyay is an exemplary role model of positive activism and we are grateful for the addition of her voice to the global cause of ending violence against women.
To read about Reecha Upadhyay’s involvement with One Billion Rising and watch her videos, click here.
Approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 7 men in the United States have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetimes. On average, 3 women die each day in domestic violence-related deaths in our country. Over 15 million children witness domestic violence each year.
Yet domestic violence remains a largely hidden epidemic. Because we all have a role to play in preventing violence—and because talking about it is one of the first steps to ending it—the Verizon Foundation and CBS Sportscaster James Brown are helping to get the conversation going during a special #YourVoiceCounts Twitter Chat before the Super Bowl on Thursday, January 31 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm ET.
The Verizon Foundation’s Your Voice Counts campaign is all about equipping bystanders—especially men—with tools to start talking about domestic violence and raising awareness in their communities.
During this special one-hour event the Verizon Foundation (@VerizonGiving), James Brown (@JBSportscaster) Joyful Heart (@TheJHF) and Mariska will talk to fans about what they can do to help end domestic violence and promote healthy role modeling and masculinity. In light of recent tragedies in the NFL community, such as the one out of Kansas City, people are talking about domestic violence, and it’s that conversion we hope to elevate and continue.
We’ll also be joined by Your Voice Counts partners and leading advocates from A CALL TO MEN (@LiveRespect) and NO MORE (@NOMOREorg), who will share insight and resources on this critical topic. The chat will give participants an opportunity to talk with NFL insiders, celebrities and advocates about domestic violence and sports, the role men, fathers and coaches and mentors play in prevention and more.
Joining is simple!
Just log on to Twitter (www.twitter.com) on January 31 at 4:00 pm ET. Search for the hashtag #YourVoiceCounts to follow the conversation and add the hashtag to your own tweets to join in.
Don’t miss out on the chance to get involved!
@VerizonGiving and our partners will be re-tweeting your answers and comments. For more information on speaking up against domestic violence, please visit the Verizon Foundation website www.verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts).
This Twitter chat is designed as an open forum for participants to come together, ask questions and share information about how to speak up against domestic violence. For your own safety, we ask that you not disclose any personal or identifying information during our Twitter chat. To read more about protecting your personal information and safety on Twitter, we invite you to visit: support.twitter.com/articles/18368-safety-private-information#.
If you’re in immediate danger or you believe someone else is, please call 911. If you suspect domestic violence (or any other crime) is happening, don’t think of it as a “private matter” or simply “none of your business.” Use your voice to connect someone to life-saving resources like the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233). Verizon Wireless customers can simply dial #HOPE to be connected to the Hotline
Weeks have passed since we rang in the New Year, and already our holiday cheer has begun to fade. Nothing seems as bright or as beautiful as it once did, draped in the lights of the holiday season. The gifts that we spent hours shopping for are now just a long list of items on a credit card statement. The decorations that we delightfully hung from our tree are now a chore as we remove them from the branches. The tamales and cookies that we enthusiastically devoured are now a few extra pounds around our waist, and, as the final remnants of the holiday season are packed in a box, the guilt continues to set in.
Perhaps, that is why we begin each year with the same routine of reflecting on how we are going to improve ourselves in the coming year and then resolving to do a whole list of things that, too often, result in no change at all. This year, I challenge you to break free from this routine and the typical resolutions of weight loss and financial gain in order to bring about true change not just in yourself but in your community, as well. I invite you to reflect on the issue of male childhood sexual abuse and resolve to be a part of a growing network of support.
In 2012, male sexual abuse and perpetration garnered a great deal of media attention as the stories of abuse at Penn State and within the Boy Scouts of America became a part of national headlines. Beyond these stories, however, are many that are never told. Research tells us that 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused in childhood. We also know that over 70% of those men who have been abused do not tell anyone at the time and that on average men will take 22 years to tell someone about it-10 years longer than women. Between January and December 2012, nearly 600 individuals accessed the RAINN Hotline directly from the 1in6 website, and they spent an average of 30 minutes seeking support. This is up 67% over last year, from a monthly average of 30 hotline users in 2011 to 50 in 2012. These individuals are our brothers, nephews, sons, uncles, grandfathers, fathers, co-workers, classmates and teammates.
I would like to invite you to take the first step in supporting male survivors of childhood sexual abuse by making a personal commitment to believe. If you make this commitment and uphold it, then you can make a difference in the healing work of male survivors. So, I challenge you to make this commitment your resolution not just for 2013 but for each day of your life. This is one resolution that is too important to give up on after just one week. It requires an open mind and an open heart, but the rewards are great. Failure to uphold the resolution, on the other hand, can cost men their well-being; therefore, turn to 1in6 for support if you find the challenge too difficult to undertake yourself.
Too often, the goodwill towards men that we express during the holiday season is also packed up with the Christmas decorations. Extend that good will throughout the year. Don’t let one of the things you’re guilty about next year be that you spent more time obsessing about exercising than listening to the boys and men in your life, or that you stood idly by as a male friend disclosed his own experiences of childhood sexual abuse, or that you said nothing while legislators cut funding for sexual assault services. Instead, do your part—make the commitment, uphold it in 2013 and help end sexual abuse in our communities.
Emiliano C. Diaz de Leon is a Cultural Capacity Specialist for 1in6. Besides his work with 1in6, Emiliano has more than a decade of experience working for multiple domestic and sexual violence centers in Texas. Since 2008, Emiliano has worked as a Primary Prevention Specialist for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) and since October 2011 providing technical assistance to the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Engaging Men Program grantees around the country as a Men’s Engagement Specialist.
The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.
1in6′s mission also includes serving family members, friends and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.
The views expressed above are not necessarily those of the Joyful Heart Foundation or 1in6.
When the U.S. Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, it revolutionized community and government responses to domestic violence and sexual assault across the nation. Since that time, each reauthorization of VAWA has expanded its focus—to include dating violence and stalking, to create and enhance prevention and education programs, to train and coordinate law enforcement, courts, prosecutors and victim services in their response to violence against women and children.
Unfortunately, Congress again made history in 2012 when it failed—for the first time ever—to pass the latest reauthorization of VAWA. With the expiration of the reauthorization bill, funding for existing programs and services for survivors of violence will continue under the 2005 reauthorization. This funding arrangement will make it difficult for many organizations to maintain their current levels of programming and services, especially with ever-tightening national, state and local budgets. The expiration of the 2012 reauthorization also represents a missed opportunity to make VAWA more comprehensive, including provisions for housing, campus-based services and greater protections for certain vulnerable communities.
Dear Joyful Heart Community:
2013 is just around the corner and we know now, more than ever, how necessary and important our work is.
Thanks to supporters like you, in 2013 we will continue to heal and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and the professionals who serve them. We will extend and grow our reach and we will respond to new community needs.
We are ready to keep raising the nation’s consciousness around these issues. We are ready to engage policymakers to ensure that our laws and systems provide survivors the justice they deserve, hold perpetrators accountable and prevent future violence. And, we’ll continue to send a clear message to survivors: “We hear you, we believe you, you are not alone and your healing is our priority.”
We know you are ready to help us make all of our 2013 plans a reality. Just click here to donate now,
In 2013, Joyful Heart will be launching a new website, working to replicate our survivor retreat programs across the country and around the world, publishing a groundbreaking rape kit backlog victim notification report, beginning conversations with young men in schools about respect and doing more outreach to supporters like you.
We hope you’ll join us in looking toward a 2013 new year filled with renewed hope, promise and joy. Please support our work today.
Chief Executive Officer