Shattering the Silence
This week, I was honored to stand with my colleagues, Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Joyce (R-OH), and Katherine Clark (D-MA) to announce the formation of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence.
Introducing the Task Force with Representatives Speier, Joyce, Meehan and Clark (right to left)
The launch of this Task Force is deeply moving for me. Last year, for the first time, I shared my own experiences of sexual assault. Doing so was not easy. The stigma that surrounds this issue has silenced many survivors, but it's long past time we shatter that silence.
The Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence will focus on: K-12 education, college campus safety, the rape kit backlog, military sexual trauma, ending online harassment, improved data and collection, and law enforcement training. The Task Force will serve as a force to drive legislation and policy that will support survivors of sexual assault and educate our fellow members of Congress as well as the public about how we can end this persistent problem.
It was wonderful to be joined at the launch by Chessy Prout. I'm inspired by the incredible strength and courage Chessy has shown in sharing her story as a survivor.
With Chessy Prout at the launch of the Task Force
Chessy is truly helping to shatter the silence that surrounds this issue by letting other survivors know they are not alone. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we all have a role to play in addressing this issue. I hope you'll join me in working to change the culture that surrounds sexual assault in our nation by standing in support of survivors and helping end sexual assault and sexual violence.
P.S.- You may enjoy the profile WMUR's Fritz Wetherbee did of my great-grandfather, John McLane, on New Hampshire Chronicle this week. My great-grandfather was a good friend of President Theodore Roosevelt and recommended the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as the location to sign a treaty to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Fritz also gave a nice shout-out to my mother, Susan McLane. You can watch that segment here.