April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I’m making a list of my favorite activists speaking out against sexual violence. Some are old-school activists working on the ground in non-profit organizations; some are artists; some are writers – all are committed. I’ve been speaking out against sexual violence for the last 15 years – beginning slightly more than a year after I survived an experience of rape. The people I mention this month are friends and comrades.
The FaithTrust Institute is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – organizations that addresses sexual and domestic violence for, with and in faith communities. Founded by the amazing and committed Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune (I’ll highlight some of her books in later posts), The FaithTrust Institute offers training, consulting and educational materials for Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslims communities. They pay attention to and have distinctive outreaches for people of color too. While they resist sexual and domestic violence – including sexual abuse by clergy – they also give attention to the development of safe and healthy faith communities, healthy teen relationships and healthy boundaries for religious leaders.
On a personal note, I knew Marie Fortune by her work for years before I met her – when I began to act like a fan asking for a signature. She has a gentle unassuming presence that commands respect, while remarkably open to collaborating with others committed to this work. A real gift to the world and faith communities.
See others on my list: