Report from National Sexual Assault Conference.
The National Sexual Assault Conference was held September 14-16, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The sponsors included the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Kansas was well represented at this year’s conference. In addition to several members of the KCSDV staff, six members of the Just ASK: Autonomy and Safety of Kansas Collaboration attended as well. The attendees represent three Kansas centers for independent living and two Kansas domestic violence and sexual assault programs. The CILs represented include Southeast Kansas Independent Living, Living Independently in Northwest Kansas, and Prairie Independent Living Resource Center. The two Kansas SA/DV centers include Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Center and Options, Inc.
From September 14-16, participants enjoyed a variety of keynote speeches and workshops centered on the theme of “Changing our Communities, Changing Our World.” The keynote addresses certainly provided that perspective, with Becca Stevens discussing her work in her local community of Nashville, Tennessee, MESHELLE and LaMarr Darnel Shields sharing their experiences in communities across the United States, and Mona Eltaahway providing her perspective on the anti-sexual violence movement worldwide and specifically in Northern Africa and the Middle-East.
Laurel Klein Searles, Staff Attorney at KCSDV, shared her thoughts on the conference, “It was interesting to see the anti-sexual violence work that is being done at different levels throughout the country and around the world. The conference provided an important reminder that in this movement we are all connected by our mission to end sexual violence regardless of whether we are from a small town in Kansas or Port Said, Egypt.”
Next year’s Sexual Assault Conference will be held August 22-24, 2012 in Chicago Illinois. For more information, please visit: icasa.org.