Letter from the Executive Director
Dear friends of DVRP,
I just completed my first three months as Executive Director of DVRP, a momentous journey thus far. I've had the opportunity to facilitate trainings and workshops on domestic violence and sexual assault; speak to community members ranging from college students to uncles and aunties on ending gender-based violence; get to know the amazing staff and board members at DVRP; and learn more about the challenges faced by the survivors we support. I proudly marched in my first DC Pride with DVRP staff and interns, and am excited to see the projects we conceived of, such as our trauma based arts therapy, come to life!
In the past month, we have seen many anti-immigrant bills and regulations pass. In a ruling with significant implications on immigration policy, Jeff Sessions wrote that claims of domestic and gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum, or even be heard by a judge. This impacts immigrants and refugees, including A/PI women who are trying to enter the U.S to escape persecution due to domestic violence and sexual assault. It also speaks to how violence against women is viewed as a "private" matter that does not bear discussion in the public sphere: a myth that advocates and survivors have been striving to dismantle for decades.
In the past few weeks, we have also heard about children who have been separated from their families at the border, a form of systemic violence against mainly communities of colour which impacts A/PI communities as well as many others.
All of this shows us how gender-based violence intersects with homophobia, transphobia, racism and systemic violence. If you want to take action, I invite you to get involved with DVRP through our advocates training on July 14th, where we will consider strategies to respond to gender based violence, discuss how our work intersects with other movements, and contemplate how we can collectively bring about change. You can register at bit.ly/dvrpadvocate
I hope to connect with many of you in the weeks ahead as we continue our work to end gender-based violence through collective action.