Ahmad Greene-Hayes

Posted on January 20, 2016

I am a minister, a freedom fighter, and a survivor-activist who has worked to end all forms of violence, especially racial-sexual violence, against Black people. So much of our collective understanding of love is rooted in violence. Our culture conflates abuse and love—so many of us do not know how to love each other or ourselves. We have deep work to do, and I intend to bring my knowledge and experience as a preacher, scholar and community organizer to the forefront of the movement to end child sexual abuse…

Aishah Shahidah Simmons

Posted on January 18, 2016

True liberation must come from within. I am a Black feminist lesbian who is a survivor of both incest/child sexual abuse and rape. What better individuals to lead the movement to end child sexual abuse than those of us who have not only been directly impacted, but who are actively engaged in transforming that unspeakable trauma and terror into healing and liberation? Love, for me, is a verb—an action—and I consistently strive to be the embodiment of what I want to womanifest in this work…

Amita Swadhin

Posted on January 16, 2016

My dream is that we will come to see child sexual abuse in the same way we used to think about other forms of discrimination and violence that were once completely taboo to discuss—for instance, against HIV+ people, against LGBTQ communities, and against people seeking abortions. In my lifetime, we have moved from a culture of such profound shame and stigma that directly affected people could barely utter their truths, to now, when we have multi-million dollar infrastructure, organizations large and small, and highly visible grassroots movements that have achieved significant progress on these issues. We have faced other intractable social problems and achieved real progress. Ending child sexual abuse is possible. There is no problem we can’t tackle through collective power, with directly affected people leading movement building efforts…

Aqeela Sherrills

Posted on January 14, 2016

At one point in my life, my abuse was my greatest shame. But over the years, I have come to understand it as my greatest gift. Sharing my experience of sexual abuse for the first time was transformative, giving me access to my heart and imagination in a way I never knew. I discovered that there is a gift in the wounding, but we have to look for it. The violence we’ve experienced in our lives does not define who we are, it only informs who we are becoming…

Ignacio G. Rivera

Posted on January 12, 2016

The belief that sexual violence only has to do with power and control has been a limiting ideology. When we eliminate the conversation of sex within these contexts, we subsequently invisibilize the huge impact the ‘sex’ act does in the moment and its future outcomes. Sex or sexuality is the pink elephant in the room. The effects of sexual violence very much have to do with sex/sexuality and how survivors navigate it. Therefore, the combination of power, control and sex with an intersectional lens must be accessible in order to help end child sexual abuse…

Luz Marquez Benbow

Posted on January 10, 2016

The experience of child sexual abuse can change how we love, how we parent, and how we form relationships. We live in a world that blames and isolates survivors. However, with unconditional love and support in sister/brotherhood we can change this reality for many survivors and leverage our collective power to end child sexual abuse…

Mia Mingus

Posted on January 8, 2016

Any national movement we build around child sexual abuse cannot only protest in the streets and halls of government or articulate a passionate political analysis. It must also be able to respond to the real and messy realities of child sexual abuse when it happens in our families and communities; we must respond in ways that do not perpetuate the conditions that create those realities. We cannot only resist the world we do not want; we must also build the world we long for…

sujatha baliga

Posted on January 6, 2016

Even as a child, I understood the racism at the nexus of our immigration, criminal and child welfare systems—the very network purportedly designed to protect me. This understanding informed my silence about the sexual harm I was suffering in my home. Had anyone asked me what I needed, I would never had said, ‘Incarcerate my father, deport my mother and sister, and place me in foster care.’ I would have said, ‘Help my family heal.’ But no one asked me…