On September 1, hundreds of adult survivors of childhood sexual violence and allies gathered to participate in the Survivors’ Agenda Virtual Town Hall for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Violence. The event was part of the Survivors’ Agenda Town Hall series, putting survivors at the center of the national conversation on sexual violence.
Moderated by Dr. Daniela Ligiero, CEO and Executive Director of TfG, the Town Hall featured an all-survivor panel of change makers. Panelists each shared their unique stories and personal journeys that led them to reclaim their power and say it doesn’t have to be this way. The conversation included robust audience participation. Throughout the night, participants shared their insights, ideas, and thoughts on what is working in their communities, what needs urgent attention, and how survivors and allies can work together towards a world free from sexual violence.
One question Town Hall participants were asked was “How can we better mobilize as survivors for advocacy?” Some of the responses included: never compromise; support the leadership of Black and Indigenous queer and trans survivors who have been doing the work for generations to end violence; cultivate cooperation and connection; change norms; and tell our stories. The panelists responded to the audience’s ideas and shared their own views of what needs to change. “We have to create a plan and be prepared to protect kids to the best of our ability, under any circumstance,” said Ashley Cook. Tabitha Mpamira added, “Let’s normalize these conversations about sexual abuse in our homes, in our schools, and in our institutions.”
The responses from the Town Hall will feed into the Survivors’ Agenda Summit, a three-day virtual convening later in September where survivors and activists will imagine what a world free from violence looks like and how, together, we can make it possible. To learn more about the Survivors’ Agenda and how you can get involved, visit survivorsagenda.org to take the survey and register for the Survivors’ Agenda Summit.
About Together for Girls
Together for Girls is a global partnership working to end violence against children and adolescents, particularly sexual violence against girls. The partnership brings together more than 20 national governments, civil society organizations, UN entities, development partners, and the private sector to improve violence prevention, healing and justice. Together for Girls uses an innovative model of data, advocacy and action to drive lasting change and create a safer world for all.
While school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is prevalent, it is also preventable, and there are evidence-based solutions that show that teachers and school personnel can be significant changemakers when they take active roles in preventing, addressing, and responding to violence.
Survivors and allies demand change
November 18 is the Inaugural World Day for Prevention, Healing and Justice to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents.
Sexual violence against children affects children everywhere at a staggering rate — one in four girls experience physically forced or coerced sexual intercourse.
This town hall brings together survivors of sexual violence against children — remarkable activists that are helping change the way we think about an issue that, directly or indirectly, affects all of us.
Athlete A reminds us how regularly survivors are ignored and how often they are chastised for reporting an abuser. It reveals how self-interested institutions can themselves turn into cloaks of protection for the most heinous crimes.
Friends can play a powerful role in helping survivors access and receive critical care to help them seek justice and start their journey to heal.
Survivors of sexual violence, particularly those of color, should be leading the conversations about their needs and the needs of their communities, informing policy, and catalyzing prevention.