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One year later: Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

A year ago, RALIANCE Advocacy Director Ebony Tucker issued a statement on the testimony of Dr. Ford. “This past week has been very painful for survivors,” the statement noted. “Every time we question, ridicule and demean a survivor that comes forward, we hurt those who are living with the trauma of sexual abuse anddiscourage even more people from coming forward.

“There are those who think that reporting years or even decades after a sexual assault is too late or that a delayed report is unfair because it ruins an offender’s life. When we value the lives of victims, often women, as much as we value the lives of men, this will no longer be a serious consideration.”

One year, later we again issued a statement. We are alarmed to learn from this weekend’s New York Times piece that the Senate and FBI failed to fully investigate allegations made against Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. RALIANCE is committed, now more than ever, in doubling down on the fight to hold offenders, institutions, and people in positions of power accountable.

The real cost of workplace sexual harassment to businesses

It’s time to get down to brass tacks. The real cost of workplace sexual harassment to businesses is devastating to the bottom line. Higher turnover, absenteeism, and lowered productivity are just the beginning of the results of a recent study, “Me Too: Does Workplace Sexual Harassment Hurt Firm Value?”, which looked at trends at thousands of companies.

It’s time to address sexual harassment in the workplace head on. Here are some insights from this study for CEOs and other business leaders to consider: Workplace sexual harassment is a serious and widespread issue – one that impacts the bottom line. Researchers found that sexual harassment in the workplace costs thousands of dollars per employee.

Not only does sexual harassment hurt a company’s bottom line, but it also negatively impacts employee well-being. Employees deserve to feel safe and confident that leadership will address instances of sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse swiftly.

Sexual harassment affects bystanders. Too often researchers found atmospheres of fear and intimidation, even retaliation. Leaders must create workspaces where all employees feel empowered, supported, and believed.

Sexual harassment is morally reprehensible. How a company chooses to foster a safe and healthy workplace environment is an important part of demonstrating the company’s values.

All employees deserve to feel safe and respected at work. That’s why RALIANCE is partnering with many companies and organizations to address sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. For more tips, please check out RALIANCE’s Open Letter to CEOs and Boards of Directors.

Why it’s important for companies to be leaders in addressing mental illness

Staying healthy and happy at work starts with workplaces that support employees. Workplace leaders can make all the difference by prioritizing the safety and well-being of their employees.

The New York Times recently published an article on managing mental illness at work. The author defined mental illness broadly, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who have experienced sexual assault, abuse, and harassment and those who support them have some of the highest levels of these forms of mental illness. Many also often feel invisible and suffer in silence. Sexual assault victims represent the largest non-combat group of individuals with PTSD and triggers can range widely. For instance, employees managing the care of children or other loved ones who have been assaulted can bring on/bring back symptoms as well.

Laws protect employees against many forms of discrimination, and employees may seek reasonable adjustments in their work from their employers. In a world where corporate culture often prioritizes productivity over employee health, leaders must change the way we do business. Healthy workplaces where employees are valued and mental illness is not stigmatized balance the needs of the organization with the needs of the employee.

Each day, RALIANCE is helping leaders establish safe environments and strong communities. And in the meantime, this article offers many ideas on how to empower employees and is a call to action for companies to do a better job.

Bumble isn’t just about swiping right…

This week, a bill will become law in Texas criminalizing the sending of unsolicited sexual photos.

While most states have laws that explicitly criminalize the act of exposing one’s genitals in public, few incorporate language that extends criminalization to “unsolicited sexual photos.” Today’s technology, such as text messages, direct messages, AirDrop, email, social media, and dating apps can all be easily used to send unwanted sexual images — with little recourse.

How serious a problem is it? A 2017 YouGov survey found roughly 3 in 4 millennial women have received a message with an uninvited graphic image, or a “dick pic.”  In other words, many individuals are actively choosing to use technology to commit acts of indecent exposure.  

Spearheading the issue is Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of popular dating app Bumble who wants to build a workplace where women can thrive. Herd has already taken action to address this issue – sending unsolicited lewd photos on Bumble gets you immediately banned from the app. This move was part of increased safety measures adopted by the app this past April, and we hope Herd’s leadership on this issue influences others to do the same.

At RALIANCE, we’re excited by this work. To end sexual violence in one generation, leaders in tech and commerce must use their influence and reach to establish safe environments and stronger communities. We’re poised to help.

Beyond the Breakthrough at #NSAC2019: Building Corporate Courage Plenary session

ICYMI: The opening National Sexual Assault Conference plenary featuring RALIANCE founding partner Monika Johnson Hostler, Uber VP Tony West and Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund co-founder Tina Tchen talking about leveraging corporate power to challenge rape culture.

We're LIVE at the 2019 National Sexual Assault Conference! Tune in for the opening plenary, featuring RALIANCE founding partner Monika Johnson Hostler, Uber VP Tony West and Time's Up Legal Defense Fund co-founder Tina Tchen talking about leveraging corporate power to challenge rape culture.

Posted by Ms. Magazine on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

LIVE Q&A: Tina Tchen, Tony West and Monika Hostler on Corporate Courage in the Fight to End Sexual Violence at #NSAC2019

Ms. Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios continued the #NSAC2019opening conversation on corporate work to end violence and sat down with Uber VP Tony West, Time’s Up LDF co-founder Tina Tchen and RALIANCE founding partner Monika Hostler to talk more about the power of partnerships in the fight to end workplace violence.

LIVE Q&A: Tina Tchen, Tony West and Monika Hostler on Corporate Courage in the Fight to End Sexual Violence

Ms. Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios continued the #NSAC2019 opening conversation on corporate work to end violence and sat down with Uber VP Tony West, Time's Up LDF co-founder Tina Tchen and RALIANCE founding partner Monika Hostler to talk more about the power of partnerships in the fight to end workplace violence.

Posted by Ms. Magazine on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Beyond the Breakthrough – Legal Landscape for Survivors at #NSAC2019

Ms. Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios sat down with RALIANCE’s policy director Terri Poore (National Alliance to End Sexual Violence) to discuss what the legal landscape facing survivors looks like, and how lawmakers can do better by them, at #NSAC2019.

Anti-Violence Policies That Go Beyond the Breakthrough

Ms. Managing Digital Editor Carmen Rios sat down with National Alliance to End Sexual Violence policy director Terri Poore to discuss what the legal landscape facing survivors looks like, and how lawmakers can do better by them, at #NSAC2019.

Posted by Ms. Magazine on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Beyond the Breakthrough: Fighting the Roots of Rape Culture at the Intersections of Race, Gender and Class

It will take all of us to end sexual violence, and the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) is a model for how we can all rally behind this important effort. NSAC brings together nearly 1800 participants across 23 issue-focused tracks, nearly 150 workshops and over 200 speakers. Rounding out this event are the incredible exhibitors and sponsors who play a role in organizing a national conference—including Philadelphia’s WOMEN’S WAY, a nonprofit organization empowering support for equal opportunities for women and girls and taking action in promoting gender equality for all.

WOMEN’S WAY is a champion of strengthening economic supports for women and families and providing leadership opportunities for girls. This year, the organization is providing scholarships for participants to attend the conference. 

Diane Cornman-Levy, the Executive Director of WOMEN’S WAY, sat down with RALIANCE for a conversation connecting the dots between economic access and an inclusive fight to end violence—and highlighting the roots of rape culture.

Read this blog and all the blogs featured in the Beyond The Breakthrough series on Ms Magazine for #NSAC2019!

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