The fifth annual Say So! Conference, sponsored by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, was held on May 18th in Union Square. Domestic abuse survivors, allies, and members of NYC’s rape crisis community came together to speak out about domestic violence in an effort to end the silence around sexual assault.
Sakhi Volunteer Coordinator Shivana Jorawar presented as part of the day’s events. Below are excerpts of her interview with Sakhi Media Intern Anindita Dasgupta.
If you have a slow internet connection, right-click the links and save them to your hard drive first before trying to listen. For the purpose of clarity, some selections are presented in a question-and-answer format.
- What is the Say So! speak-out event?
- Shivana speaks about the diverse nature of the crowd and the presence of men.
- Shivana details the story of a survivor that comprised the main part of her speech, and notes the crowd reaction.
- What does community outreach work look like at Sakhi?
- What is the importance of volunteers at Sakhi?
Sexual violence comprises a key aspect of domestic violence and is frequently ignored or discounted.
In a 2000 study, 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or date (Tjaden & Thoennes 2000).
Nearly 25% of women have been raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner during their lives, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey, conducted from November 1995 to May 1996, cited by the Family Violence Prevention Fund.
According to a 2000 study, married immigrant women experience higher levels of physical and sexual abuse than unmarried immigrant women (59.5% compared to 49.8%).