Pscht!!! Blub-blub-blub-blub-blub-blub. Gulp. Gulp. AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
Beer, one could argue, is the great Texas pastime. According to the Beer Institute (yes there is an institute for beer) Texans, who annually rank in the top ten for consumption, guzzled down a whopping 620 million gallons in 2012 alone. At roughly $10 per gallon it is easy to see that beer is big business in the Lone Star state. With the emergence of a robust and rapidly expanding craft beer industry in Texas, competition, from Texarkana to Terlingua, is fierce.
Historically, the lion’s share of the beer market has gone to the “Big Three” of Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors. They account for about 80% of all the beer sold in the United States. The rest is divvied up between every other brand you can think of plus hundreds more you may not know exist (did you know there are over 80 breweries currently operating in Texas?).
However, Texas craft brewers are not standing pat and settling for scraps from the Big Three’s table. The Texas craft beer market will surpass 1 billion dollars in economic impact in the next year or so and conservative estimates project that number to rise to 5.5 billion by the year 2020. Volume shares for craft breweries are also sharply on the rise. A “coup de hops”, it seems, is indeed brewing. However, every successful coup has clear leadership and the Texas craft brewers are currently jockeying for position.
Enter Dallas’ Deep Ellum Brewery. Deep Ellum recently made a bold marketing move that has created quite a controversy. To promote their new blonde ale, owner John Reardon and his marketing team decided to call it “Dallas Blonde” and gave it a tag line of “Goes Down Easy”. Here is a picture of the packaging:
It didn’t take long the critics to belly up to the bar. The first came from Genevieve Cato from the Burnt Orange Report and it is a must read. She, and others, pointed out that this lazy and well-worn marketing ploy promotes a rape culture. Reardon responded to Cato and other critics, in knee-jerk fashion, on Deep Ellum’s blog and social media sites. He completely dismissed the criticism by more or less saying that it is just a joke and that the critics are the ones who made it about rape culture. He even went as far as to scold his critics by saying “shame on you” for even bringing it up.
This brings me to the point of this article (thanks for bearing with me). Lots of people, Reardon and his team included, don’t understand the meaning Read more
In October I was able to spend three days attending professional development workshops at Evaluation 2013. The theme for this year’s conference was Evaluation Practice in the Early 21st Century, and the conference hosted thousands of evaluation professionals from all over the world. The first two days, I attended a workshop on “actionable evaluation” that was facilitated by Dr. Jane Davidson from New Zealand. This model felt especially relevant to non-profit work from start to finish, and I would encourage everyone to check out her short e-book for more information. The piece that I’ve continued to think about fairly consistently for the last few weeks is her emphasis on asking actionable, evaluative questions. The questions we ask about our work (should) drive the data we collect about it. Many of the questions we ask in our work are monitoring-oriented (e.g., Did we implement as many educational sessions as we intended?) or satisfaction-oriented questions (e.g., Did the people we served have a good experience?) but are not evaluation-oriented questions (i.e., questions that get at the value of our efforts and guide us toward changes to make).
Let’s look at some examples. (Please note that the action component is grossly oversimplified in these examples.)
|Did we reach as many people as expected?||Yes||Celebrate. Try to keep it up.|
|No||Lament. Try to do more next time. Look for data that might tell us why we didn’t reach our target and see if those barriers can be overcome for next time.|
|Did we meet our outcomes? (Monitoring)||Yes.||Celebrate. Send the data to funders so that they can also celebrate.|
|No.||Lament. Change something and try again. Question the indicators, targets, and measurement tools.|
The answers to the questions above might lead us to make changes that would result in us doing our work differently but won’t necessarily help us do our work better/more effectively. (There’s an argument that improving the satisfaction of the people we serve is one measure of the value of our services, but it won’t necessarily result in us creating the kind of change we are looking to create or in us creating change that is meaningful to participants or our communities.)
What would it look like to ask similar questions in an evaluative way? How do those answers serve us? How would the answers result in different actions?
|Did we reach the right participants? (e.g., the people who most needed the program, etc.)||Yes||Celebrate. Understand that we reached the people who needed to be reached with the program. Continue being rockstars.|
|No||Ponder. Dig deeper. Ask more questions. Why didn’t we reach the right participants? What is it about our program or approach that kept us from reaching the right participants? Were we initially incorrect about who we assumed the right participants were?|
|How valuable were the outcomes? (e.g., How meaningful was that impact in the lives of participants?)||Very||Keep it up. Expand the program. Feel like rockstars.|
|Somewhat||Dig deeper. Find out which outcomes would be more meaningful to the population or what changes you need to make to your proposed outcomes to make them more meaningful. Strive to create the right kind of change.|
|A little||See above.|
|Not at all||Question everything.|
The most important difference in the actionable component of the answers to the second set of questions relates to your ability to make meaningful adjustments to your implementation and proposed outcomes. Digging deeper into the “no” answers to the first set of questions might help you to discover ways to change your practice that will allow you to reach more people, but nothing about the data you’ll gather to answer that question will help you to figure out if you’re reaching the people who need to be reached with your programming.
You’ll notice that the evaluative questions are more nebulous and more difficult to collect data on than are the monitoring and satisfaction questions. Ultimately, that’s okay. In her book, Dr. Davidson quotes statistician John Tukey:
“Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.”
What questions are you currently asking about your programming that could be asked in evaluative ways?
Non-stranger rape is the most common form of sexual violence occurring across the nation. In Texas, over 80% of sexual assault victims were assaulted by someone they knew. It has also been documented that most rapists are serial offenders and only 3 out of 100 will ever spend a day in jail. The statistics speak for themselves yet victims of this type of crime are least likely to receive justice and more likely to face interrogation by community members, friends and the system, more so than the perpetrator.
And so I begin my journey to shed light on this phenomenon by creating a presentation. The difficulty lies in that I am neither a Ph.D, J.D. or local, state P.D. I am merely an advocate working on a statewide level to eradicate sexual assault. Although my primary job function does not include direct service work, I volunteer at my local rape crisis center as a hospital advocate and have seen first-hand the short and long term devastation this crime brings to victims and their families. I’ve decided to document this process in hopes to share information and initiate a platform to discuss the the sheer injustice victims of non stranger rape endure on a crime committed in plain sight.
In the coming weeks I will post on a number of topics within this subject.Together we can examine the dynamics, equip ourselves with information to educate our communities, families and friends on this issue. Please share any information that would aide us in “unmasking” perpetrators of this vicious crime. I look forward to hearing from you.
In this great nation, there is a system to create laws, a system to enforce laws, and an expectation to uphold them. We elect representatives to follow the legislative process when debating and creating bills that we may or may not want turned into law. It is with much regret that our nation is facing a government shut down. The uncertainty of this shut down is unfortunate and completely unnecessary, especially when you consider its impact on survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
The intention of this blog is not to debate the strategic methods being used on the part of Republicans or Democrats or to pick one side over the other. Instead, I want to use this piece to cut through the smokescreen and provide facts so agencies, advocates, survivors, and/or concerned citizens are adequately briefed on the positions taken by the representatives in their area.
How it began
Last week a normal routine vote in the House of Representatives to fund the government strategically turned into a mechanism to de-fund the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
As a result disagreements among the legislative branch yielded disagreements with the executive branch. Since then the spin doctors from both sides have dominated the airwaves and the result…a government shutdown occurred.
Where we stand
As advocates, we represent diverse political ideologies yet, we stand together in common sense and on common ground to look for solutions to advance the needs of survivors. This impasse is threatening the support of men, women and children facing domestic and sexual violence. It also jeopardizes the means of support for advocates.
“If Congress does not end the shutdown very soon, rape crisis centers will not be able to pay advocates or keep their doors open as the ability to draw down federal funds ceases. Women, men, boys and girls who will tragically experience rape in the coming weeks will not have an advocate available to them, counseling sessions for survivors in crisis will be canceled, and prevention programs at high schools will end,” said NAESV President Monika Johnson-Hostler.
The fear and skepticism yielded by the shutdown compounds the work of advocates and threatens the path to healing for affected families. As advocates we work to minimize harm and help survivors navigate systems in their time of need. The lack of perspective from Congress on the lifeline rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters provide the community is unfortunate and obvious at the same time.
What we need to do
Contact your representative, share your survivor’s stories and demand action. Advocating for survivors must take a new form as the shutdown continues. A consistent message to representatives is necessary. Our message is simple – Congress must immediately act to fund the government and end the uncertainty for survivors.
Rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters provide an invaluable service to the community and offer hope to survivors. It’s time our lawmakers recognize the value of our work and put back into place the mechanisms that allow us to continue our work daily.
Utilize social media
Twitter has become the forum to capture public opinion. Twitter is powerful and elected representatives are taking notice. The two popular government shutdown hashtags trending right now are #shut down and #enoughalready. Create your own hashtag and start “twittercating” (twitter advocating) for survivors now!
Utilize traditional media
Traditional media is not dead and is extremely powerful in pockets of our society. Consider writing an op-ed on how this impasse affects your agency, how lack of services can affect a survivor’s healing process, or how it affects your day to day work in the community. Contact your local newspaper and open a dialogue on this issue.
Prepare your talking points. Call your representative. Keep it short. And keep it local. Encourage your circle of friends to do the same.
- U.S. House of Representatives – http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
- U.S. Senate – http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Annette Burrhus Clay, Executive Director at TAASA works diligently on the federal level with Coalition Directors from across the country advocating on behalf of survivors. Torie Camp, Deputy Director at TAASA works tirelessly with legislators at a state level. For more information on TAASA’s policy work and legislative inquiries contact Torie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The collective will of the people is powerful and when used with intent and with purpose, we can affect positive change. Standing united for survivors is not only our job it is our way of life. Now let’s get to work!
We acknowledge that identities and privilege are influenced by a number of factors such as race, class, and sexual orientation; we will be focusing only on gender, specifically the negative consequences of male privilege and the ways that men maintain that privilege. A similar critique can be made of any privileged group that seeks to work as an ally.
Over the past year my co-worker Tim and I have had a number of conversations discussing the roles male-identified person’s within the movement to end sexual violence should take. And while we believe male-identified allies are important to ending violence against women, we also have concerns about the way that some fail to critically and actively examine their own male privilege and sexist attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Below are my thoughts on the issue.
So at this point you might be asking yourself why you are reading this article in the first place; you’re a “good” guy, right? You aren’t one of those men who disrespects women, let alone would violate a woman. In your opinion, you are not the problem. So how does this article have anything to do with you? Well, it has everything to do with you because it is not the extreme violence of a few men that keeps violence against women at epidemic levels. Rather, it is the silent permission of the “good” guys that prevents holding other men accountable, allowing violence against women to continue. And just so we are clear, my intention is not to bash any individual man in this article, I know that a personal assault on a man’s character is not going to end the national assault on women. However, I do want to point out that despite most men’s precious belief that they are one of the “good” guys, all men- YES EVEN YOU- have been socialized in a culture where mainstream notions of manhood include domination, dehumanization, and power over women. So, while every man is not an abuser, I have yet to meet a man who is not (a recovering) sexist. Thus, every man benefits from the violence of a few.
I truly believe that the “good” guys do not purposefully hurt women; rather they simply have no idea that what they are doing is rooted in male privilege and sexism. The unforeseen consequence of playing out the masculinity they were taught and trained to perform is the strengthening of the collective sexism of men and therefore the collective oppression of women. And that’s how even you, the “good” guys, help to maintain and perpetuate a culture where violence against women occurs. When you fail to acknowledge the privilege you are granted as a man you also fail to acknowledge women’s reality and women’s truth. Silencing women’s experiences only furthers to marginalize, dehumanize and oppress women as a socio-political group and recreates the patriarchal system we hope to dismantle. To understand the effects of your privilege and sexism, men must hear the collective female truth.
So, what would I like to see from men who join the movement to end men’s violence against women? To be honest, the answer is complicated. I have endless thoughts on the topic but writing a response is challenging because I still have so many questions with unclear answers. Why are these men joining the movement and is it for the right reasons? Why are these men being applauded for finally doing the right thing and advocating for women’s bodily autonomy? Why is it that men, and some women, pay attention to a man saying the same words that women have been saying for years? How can we work with men without having them take over and recreate the patriarchal structure we are trying to dismantle?
Harnessing the righteous anger that fuels my passion to one day live in a world where women can live free of fear of violence and fully experience social, political, economic, and spiritual liberation I shared my many questions with you. I would love to hear some of your solutions on how to include men as our allies in the movement to end violence against women and girls.
For more on this subject, please see the full So, You Think You’re a “Good” Guy…? newsletter article co-authored with Tim Love.
The entire prevention team members at TAASA frequently talk about and share music. We talk about music with problematic lyrics and have fun music listening and dance parties when our energy is low, so it fits that my colleague and teammate, Renée, suggested I write about liberation songs when I was talking to her about a blog topic.
Before I share just a few of the songs about liberation that are a part of my life and my world, I wanted to give you some insight into the criteria I’ve used to select these songs.
- Liberation happens on multiple levels. The struggle for liberation on the societal level is the movement for equity for all. Relationships built upon liberation support and uplift rather than limit and hold back or down. Our individual liberation involves our ability to express our full selves, move through the world freely and with an expectation of safety, and meet other people with an open heart and an open mind free from stereotypes and prejudice we learn every day in our current society. Good liberation songs address at least one of these levels of liberation, if not multiple.
- My liberation is tied up in your liberation which is tied up in my liberation which is tied up in everyone’s liberation. We experience our society and the oppression that permeates it differently based on a number of cultural and identity factors. It is also true that none of us are free until all of us are free. A good liberation song speaks to this reality – to the intertwined nature of our freedom.
- Music tells a story, and part of liberation is witnessing the stories of others. If I am to struggle for my own liberation as well as the liberation of others, it is important that I understand the similarities and differences in our stories and our experiences. In this way, good liberation songs tell the stories of diverse peoples’ experiences of oppression and history of resistance.
- Liberation songs speak of change and suggest or demand action. Liberation songs don’t accept that what is will always be. They lay bare the impact of oppression, and they state that things don’t have to be this way. They tell the stories of past resistance and state the obvious – that resistance is needed now. Liberation songs speak of a different future and inspire listeners to take action to help create that future.
- Liberation songs pull back the veil. We often lose focus in our lives of what is important. Speaking as someone whose identity fits into the groups with the most power in our society, I know that I have the luxury of being able to close a blind eye to oppression. I have the privilege of not having to think about so many things linked to my survival, safety, and thriving on a day-to-day basis. Liberation songs remind me that struggle is constant, oppression never fades away on its own, and that it is my responsibility and my opportunity as a human to be an ally and join the resistance.
- Good liberation songs are still songs – they make me want to move. Whether they make me want to raise my hands (or fist), inspire me to move my feet, or lift my soul, good liberation songs inspire individual as well as collective movement.
The list of songs I’ve selected is by no means exhaustive. Not even close! There are so many amazing songs out there that move and inspire me to strive for liberation and so many thousands and thousands more that have moved and continue to move other people. My hope for this blog is that you find a song that inspires you from this list and, more importantly, that you share a song (or two or more) that has inspired you.
Some of these folks may use language that makes some people uncomfortable. This language is important in order for them to speak their truth, but in the spirit of liberation, I wanted to give you the heads up so you can decide whether or not to listen.
- Two Bums, by Utah Phillips and Ani Difranco
- Hide and Seek, by Ani Difranco
- One Day, by Matisyahu
- Anne Braden, by the Flobots
- It’s Movement Time, by Las Cafeterias
- Ella’s Song, by Sweet Honey in the Rock
- Revolution, by Tracy Chapman
When I could, I found links to the song that include the lyrics. I apologize for any videos with poorer sound quality.
On July 9-12, I was honored to attend Stop Porn Culture’s annual summer anti-pornography activist training. It was a gathering of anti-pornography activists from across the globe who are passionate about moving the feminist anti-pornography movement toward the dismantling of rape culture. This training provided those of us in attendance with an intensive, five day immersion into pornography, its imagery, its business models, its marketing tactics, and its negative consequences on children, women, and men. As a sexual violence prevention educator, the studies we discussed on the affects pornography has on men provided me with a more firm grasp on the link between pornography and men’s violence against women. For example, current studies show that after viewing pornography, men are more likely to:
- report decreased empathy for rape victims;
- report believing that a woman who dresses provocatively deserves to be raped;
- report anger at women who flirt but then refuse to have sex;
- report decreased sexual interest in their girlfriends or wives;
- report increased interest in coercing partners into unwanted sex acts.
While mainstream pop culture grows increasingly pornographic, the pornography industry is producing hardcore material that is both more overtly cruel toward women and more widely accepted than ever. The pornography industry is pushing its way into every aspect of our lives and is colonizing our minds and hijacking our sexuality. Specifically, within a rape culture, pornography is another tool to train men to be sexually aggressive towards women, and women to be available f*** objects. Add that to all of the other misogynistic messaging dominating mainstream media and we have a really bad situation on our hands.
If you want to learn more about how to challenge and stop porn culture check out Stop Porn Culture’s website at http://stoppornculture.org/index.php. “Stop Porn Culture is dedicated to challenging the pornography industry and an increasingly pornographic pop culture. [They] work toward ending industries of sexual exploitation, grounded in a feminist analysis of sexist, racist, and economic oppression. [They] affirm sexuality that is rooted in equality and free of exploitation, coercion, and violence. Or, you can check out the some of these great books and videos:
- The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships directed and produced by Chyng Sun & Miguel Picker
- The Great Porn Experiment: A powerful TEDx talk by Gary Wilson
- Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality by Gail Dines
- Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen
- The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography by Wendy Maltz and Larry Maltz
- Not For Sale edited by Christine Stark and Rebecca Whisnant
- Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry by Abigail Bray and Melinda Tankard Reist (editors)
Information used in this blog was obtained from http://stoppornculture.org/
On July 19-21, TAASA hosted the annual Texas PEACE Project Youth Summit. It was a gathering of teens, and their adult allies, from across the state who are passionate about using their voices to create a Texas that is free of sexual violence. The theme for this year’s summit was “Break the Box”. It was about tearing down gender stereotypes that box us in and limit our potential. These same stereotypes reinforce social norms that create, among other things, the expectation that boys be aggressive, dominant, and hyper-sexual and that girls be passive, submissive, and sexy (but virginal). It is easy to see how these expectations create an environment where sexual violence is more likely to occur.
With this in mind it becomes obvious that if Texas youth (or anyone for that matter) hope to eliminate sexual violence the first step should be to “break the box” of gender norms. Yet, challenging gender stereotypes isn’t the only work that needs to be done. Moving forward, they must thoughtfully and purposefully build a new space for people to exist that is free of gendered expectations and that has a system of accountability in place to ensure that all those who exist in that space are free to be themselves. This will be a major undertaking. As with all large-scale construction projects, engineers will be needed to ensure that this new space will be functional AND safe for all.
Fortunately, the folks over at Goldie Blox are working to ensure that a larger number of those future engineers are women and girls. According to their Facebook page, Goldie Blox is “a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers.” They sell a construction toy that combines building with reading. The book tells the story of Goldie – a young female entrepreneur building her dreams in a male dominated field.
Debbie Sterling is the founder, creative genius, and “Chief Officer of Fun” at Goldie Blox. She says “I only knew engineering even existed because my math teacher from high school said I should explore it.” This inspired her to pursue a degree in engineering from Stanford and, ultimately, create Goldie Blox. She recounts “I’m creating a toy company that teaches little girls what engineering is, making it fun and accessible. I’m making sure that girls don’t have to rely on a serendipitous comment from a teacher to realize their passion for engineering.”
Check out this awesome video that Goldie Blox created to “disrupt the pink aisles” at Toys-R-Us!
Recently, a hardworking, selfless legislative aide has been helping me advocate for a survivor of a brutal gang rape in a Texas prison. We’d had trouble connecting, and I apologized for the inconvenience. She told me not to worry about it, because her office has been so busy with the special session abortion legislation that she’s had no time to work on our case anyway.
Against the backdrop of HB 2’s passage and last Thursday’s HB 59 filing, her remark felt ironic. The exchange caused me to reflect on the protracted fight over reproductive rights at the Capitol, and why, ordinarily, it never would have occurred.
This isn’t a blog post about abortion. My point is that the Legislature is now targeting rape survivors in a manner that was unthinkable just two or three years ago. Things have changed, and it’s going largely unnoticed.
The morning of SB 5’s first Senate floor debate—only a week before Wendy Davis delivered her renowned filibuster—the by-now-rote plan was to offer an amendment exempting sexual assault and incest victims from the bill’s 20-week limit on abortions. At the time, it seemed the worst-case scenario would be an amendment identical to the one accepted two years earlier by Republican sponsors of the forced trans-vaginal ultrasound bill. No one expected the amendment would be DOA, and there is good reason to believe that if it had been accepted the Legislature would’ve passed the bill without as much of a fight.
That would’ve been far from a victory for women’s rights, but it would’ve been business as usual at the Capitol. What happened instead was a transgression: rape survivors are—or, at least, were—off limits.
A case in point: Early in the HB 2 hearing before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, a witness testified that at age 13 she’d been held against her will for over 20 weeks after her rapist and kidnapper impregnated her. A committee member supportive of the bill replied—wholly inaccurately—that the bill provided exceptions for her situation and dismissed her. If you believe that girl should not be forced to give birth, you should view this legislation as a line in the sand. If you believe that girl’s courageous public testimony, and that of so many other rape survivors on an array of policy issues, should not be reduced to annoying procedural hurdles to be vaulted by any means necessary, then you should view our lawmakers’ indifference as a line in the sand.
HB 2, and now HB 59, crosses the line. Things have changed.
As someone who regularly talks with lawmakers and staff about sexual violence, I can attest that members of both parties are quick to accommodate survivors’ interests. That’s true even for abortion bills, and for good reason. Survivors almost never report their assaults in time to utilize emergency contraception at the ER. Around the globe, rape survivors who become pregnant induce abortions at higher rates than other women, even when the procedure isn’t safely available. And when the rapist is also the victim’s husband or boyfriend, abortion access is often a matter of life and death for women: homicide by an intimate partner is a leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in the US and around the world.
Typically, educating lawmakers on facts like these is all it takes to achieve a compromise. Truly, when it comes to sexual assault, the folks I’ve had the pleasure to work with are reasonable, well meaning, and open to suggestions. And that’s exactly why we should be alarmed at the unyielding aggression and inflexibility we see the Lege today. I’m not alone in this assertion. Just this weekend, Houston-area Representative Sarah Davis publicly decried her Republican colleagues’ disregard for sexual assault survivors. Things have changed.
You are now, I hope, asking “Why?” I am too. I won’t pretend to know what’s motivating this shift. Many have weighed in, and I’m reluctant to reduce it to a single cause. I listened to one state rep recount pleas for sympathy from moderate Republican colleagues who felt pressure from vocal anti-choice constituents not to budge on the extreme measures. There are also, of course, a few statewide Republican primaries on the horizon that could get nasty. Some have speculated the sudden obdurateness stems from a national coordination of legislative efforts by groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), offering as evidence SB 5 sponsor Jodie Laubenberg’s position as ALEC’s Texas Chairperson. Molly Redden has also observed that, regardless of any multi-state coordination, constitutionally suspect bills like SB 5 and HB 59 could prove sound strategy, even if they ultimately fail, by making less sensational restrictions seem more palatable by comparison.
Rather than presuming to answer “why,” my purpose in writing is twofold. First, it’s imperative to acknowledge that what is happening right now is not just business as usual. Though Texas’s most recent reproductive rights battle has rehashed familiar arguments, we have also witnessed a previously taboo disregard for rape survivors—a disregard which, there is no serious doubt, will amount to wanton violence against women.
The other reason I’m writing is that broken taboos have a tendency to stay broken. So, I believe we’re at a crossroads. For those of us committed to the anti-sexual assault movement, as well as those who just think women are getting a bad deal, now is the worst possible time for passivity. Even though the legislative action is winding down for another couple years, and our leaders are receding from view, hoping for a slow creep toward brighter days will only find more survivors at greater risk. Now is the time to find our outrage.
The state of Texas has attracted national attention as its legislature pushes the most anti-abortion legislation in modern Texas history through SB1 and HB2. Texas State Senator Wendy Davis armed with thousands of pro-choice Texans successfully completed an 11 hour filibuster preventing SB2 from becoming law in a Special Session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry. As a result Governor Perry called a second special session with the goal of passing the legislation.
TAASA operates on a statewide level for the prevention of sexual violence, awareness of societal conditions enabling said violence and provides resources and training on issues around victimization and the criminal justice system. Through this work TAASA advocates on behalf of sexual assault survivors and as a result opposes SB1 and HB2. Below please read TAASA’s position and contact Torie Camp for more information.
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault OPPOSES SB 1 and HB 2
The trauma of rape is overwhelming. It affects all aspects of survivors’ lives, and the path to recovery is long. Restricting access to abortions for rape survivors re-victimizes women and impedes physical, psychological, and spiritual recovery.
• 5% of rapes in the US result in pregnancy.1
In Texas, most victims do not seek help in time to use emergency contraception.2
• Restrictions on abortion access disproportionately hurt rape victims. Victims of rape induce abortions at higher rates than other women, regardless of whether the procedure is safely available.3
• SB1/HB2 may force victims to seek unregulated abortions closer to home or carry their rapists’ babies—a constant reminder of the ultimate violence, disempowerment and physical violation.
• Abortion access is a matter of life and death for women and girls raped by their partners. The leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in the US is frequently found to be homicide by an intimate partner.4
As the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence and supporting survivors, TAASA urges you to join in our opposition of SB 1 & HB 2.
Contact: Torie Camp, TAASA Deputy Director
512-474-7190 ext. 18 | email@example.com
1) Holmes MM et al. Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 1996, 175(2):320–25.
2 )Busch, N., Bell, H., DiNitto, D., & Neff, J. (2003). A health survey of Texans: A focus on sexual assault experiences. Austin, TX: The University of Texas.
3 )Garcia-Moreno C et al. WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women: initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women’s responses. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2005; Holmes, supra.
4 )See, e.g., Horon IL, Cheng D. Enhanced surveillance for pregnancy-associated mortality – Maryland, 1993–1998. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 285(11):1455–59.