“When survivors come forward and share something, they want to have control over who that information gets shared with. That choice should belong to them and no one else,” shares CEO, Sandra Henriquez.
VALOR is deeply disturbed by recent developments from both the Santa Clara county District Attorney and the Mayor of San Jose. This week, the New York Times reported that District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Mayor Sam Liccardo demanded Uber share sexual assault reports they receive directly with law enforcement, creating a massive uproar of survivor serving agencies. Our system should not take away more power from survivors after being harmed.
In the New York Times article and an interview with ABC7 News, VALOR expressed concern that the impacts of this decision can re-traumatize survivors and expose them to further harm. This is a dangerous precedent, and survivors should be able to consent to whom their information is shared with. The decision about what happens to a survivor’s report should rest with the survivor alone, including when or whether that report is shared with law enforcement.
Not only does this negatively impact survivors and take away their power and choice to determine how their reports are shared, but it will also have a chilling and silencing effect on survivors. Sexual assault is already an underreported and under-prosecuted crime in California. We should not create additional barriers to survivors seeking support after being harmed, including if survivors only want to make a report to a business or company they were engaging with at the time when they were sexually assaulted.
“Part of a survivor’s healing is the ability to take power, control, decision making, into their own lives, and for that to be respected,” voiced Henriquez in an interview with ABC7 Bay Area. VALOR continues to advocate for survivors and their rights. Healing is about restoring power and agency after it’s been taken during a sexual assault. Lawmakers should not be creating policies that will retraumatize survivors and instead should focus on a community that prevents violence.
View Sandra’s interview with ABC7 Bay Area here.