Survivors' Agenda Town Hall for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Violence

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.

Speakers at the Town Hall included Niyati Shah, Meditation/Yoga Instructor; Sarah Cooper, Activist; Rachael Denhollander, Author, Attorney, & Former USA Gymnast; Brian Toale, Activist & New York City SNAP Leader; Ashley Cook, Director of Partnerships, Darkness to Light; Tabitha Mpamira, Activist & Founder of EDJA; and Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director & CEO of Together for Girls.

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.

TogetherForGirls SurvivorsAgenda Sep12020 FINAL - Survivors' Agenda Town Hall for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Violence
Visual notes from the Survivors' Agenda Virtual Town Hall

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.”

“Let’s normalize these conversations about sexual abuse in our homes, in our schools, and in our institutions,” -Tabitha Mpamira

“We have to create a plan and be prepared to protect kids to the best of our ability, under any circumstance.” -Ashley Cook

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.

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