Sexual violence is the biggest issue we aren’t talking about in America. Incorporating lessons from the gay rights and AIDS movements and campaigns like Opportunity Nation, The Enliven Project will tell the truth about sexual violence in classrooms, break-rooms, and board-rooms, enlisting the most powerful bystanders to join the movement, promoting the most promising interventions, and increasing justice and acceptance for survivors everywhere.
The facts about sexual violence are startling.
In the United States, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. These crimes cost society $127 billion annually – more than murder, drunk driving, or robbery. Survivors are more likely to abuse drugs, suffer from depression, obesity, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or attempt suicide.
The Enliven Project will shine a spotlight on sexual violence and create a more engaged society where survivors of all genders can reclaim their lives. This will be accomplished through the following strategies:
- Enlist new and unlikely allies, including the leaders of non-profit organizations and businesses, elected officials and funders, to join a broad coalition that will disseminate proven practices in sexual violence prevention, intervention, and recovery and advocate for promising policies to support them.
- Recruit high-profile champions with a personal connection to sexual violence who can illuminate the role that bystanders play in the experience of sexual violence survivors, their families, and communities.
- Launch a social media campaign to engage “everyday” survivors, their friends, and allies to share stories of sexual violence’s impact and the role bystanders play in prevention and recovery.
Less than 25 years ago, women with breast cancer suffered silently, often ashamed, and there were few options available for prevention or treatment. Today, we invest hundreds of millions of dollars in private and public funds on awareness and research, thousands upon thousands of men and women participate in annual walks, rides, and events to support its victims and survivors, and survivors have the community and support they need – there is even hope for a cure. Movements like this do not happen by themselves. They happen through the relentless engagement of new partners and champions. The Enliven Project will jumpstart the movement to end sexual violence, so that one day, we won’t be able to imagine a world that didn’t support and empower survivors.
*Sources: Guidestar, Center for Disease Control, American Cancer Society