WASHINGTON, DC – Award-winning actress and sexual assault survivor Gabrielle Union will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act. Union’s testimony will focus on her personal experiences as a sexual assault survivor and the need to provide funding to support services for victims. A rape crisis counselor played a critical role in her own recovery.
“Rape victims are not strangers. They are your mothers, sisters, daughters and your friends, said Union. “Justice shouldn’t be for a select few but for all. Sexual violence is a complex and traumatic experience for both the victim as well as their support system – family members, friends, and colleagues.”
Rape crisis services play a critical role in mitigating the trauma of sexual violence and helping survivors with the possible severe consequences on their well-being and stability. Around the country, however, rape crisis services are woefully underfunded at the state and federal levels.
The funding through the new Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP), which was authorized in the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, provides the first dedicated federal funding stream to local advocacy and direct service providers that are specifically designed to meet the individual needs of each survivor. The President’s FY 2010 budget includes $12 million the Sexual Assault Services Program.
“The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence applauds Gabrielle Union’s courage in testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her experience of sexual assault,” said Monika Johnson Hostler, President of NAESV. “As the Senate begins its work on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, we are pleased that senators are taking time to think about the needs of the 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in our country who have experienced sexual assault.”
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) works to end sexual violence and ensure services for victims. The NAESV Board of Directors consists of leaders of state sexual assault coalitions and national law, policy, and tribal experts who promote the organization’s mission to advance and strengthen public policy on behalf of state coalitions, individuals, and other entities working to end sexual violence. Most importantly, the NAESV advocates on behalf of the victim/survivors—women, children and men—who have needlessly suffered the serious trauma of sexual violence and envisions a world free from sexual violence. For more information, visit www.naesv.org.