Today VALOR’s CEO, Sandra Henriquez, was a panelist on the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse Virtual Briefing on Intersection of Reproductive Health and Violence and Abuse. Ms. Henriquez spoke about the importance of access to reproductive healthcare and how restricting that harms the larger movement to end sexual and domestic violence.

Reproductive justice and the anti-violence movements are interconnected. We also cannot look at ending sexual violence without looking at achieving reproductive justice. Comprehensive prevention programs, funded through the CDC’s Rape Prevention & Education Program (RPE), can help us address the root causes of sexual violence and preventing it from initially happening. We also need to ensure that we have federal baseline protection to abortion and contraception access so survivors can access reproductive care after they have been harmed.

Reproductive justice and an end to sexual violence cannot exist without self-determination. Controlling a person’s sexual and reproductive life is often a component of abuse, so restrictions on access to family planning and abortion, as well as other forms of bodily subjugation keep survivors both physically and financially vulnerable. Each form of reproductive oppression, infringes on the autonomy of marginalized individuals and will impact a survivor’s ability to access resources, heal and recover from the harm they experienced, and often make building community and reaching out for support even more challenging.

This impactful briefing was hosted by Futures Without Violence and the National Health Collaborative on Violence & Abuse. View the full briefing here.