Lest anyone forget: it was the voices of survivors that echoed national policy changes to campus sexual assault in 2011. It was the voices of survivors that were heard when the White House Task Force created standards for survivor centered investigations and to hold universities accountable for mishandling their cases. It is the voices of survivors that create documentaries like The Hunting Ground. It is our voices that will stand beside you to challenge those with power who are determined to silence you. ..
On Thursday, April 27th, OAESV hosted our 5th Annual Advocacy Day to End Sexual Violence in Columbus, attended by nearly 100 advocates, preventionists, and survivors from across Ohio. We heard powerful messages of support from Senator Charleta Tavares, Representative Bernadine Kent, Senator Jim Hughes, and Representative Nickie Antonio. We also heard inspiring messages from Survivor Advisory Council Members. We met with legislators and their aides, speaking the truth about sexual violence and how it’s affecting our communities. ..
When you were a kid, I bet you never said, “I want to grow up to fight the injustice of sexual assault.” Although you might have felt called to help people, as we often are, I’m guessing you never declared, "I am going to end rape culture!" And if you are a survivor, or someone you love is, I know you never dreamed of being forced to bear that experience. No one does. ..
Being a rape crisis advocate is not a glamorous, celebrated, or in some cases, even respected profession. It’s not something anyone chooses to do because they want to be wealthy or well-known. Advocates are rarely ever celebrated for their hard work or compassion, and rarely is the burden of injustice and countless stories of trauma they carry ever fully acknowledged. ..
The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), proposed by then-Senator Joe Biden, passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in September 1994, was the culmination of generations of grassroots and institutional advocacy to address violence against women. VAWA has been reauthorized three times – in 2000 by President Clinton, in 2006 by President George W. Bush, and in 2013 by President Barack Obama – each time expanding protections for victims and the services available to them. ..