April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) supports NSVRC’s #SAAM2022 theme of building safe online spaces together. We call upon the movement to explore ways the field can create supportive online spaces that prioritize Black health, healing, and wellness.

Creating supportive virtual spaces for healing, connection and support is especially important as we work to dismantle anti-Blackness and other systems of oppression that perpetuate violence. We can do this by taking action for healing justice. As Prentis Hemphill writes, “Healing justice is active intervention in which we transform the lived experience of Blackness in our world. And in order to actively intervene and transform the experience of Black life, on every level, our movements and our organizations have to understand and value the wisdom of healing justice.”

Throughout SAAM and beyond, join us in raising awareness about healing justice and supporting the following Black-led organizations that are creating healing spaces for Black survivors and advocates:

  • BEAM works “to remove the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing… through education, training, advocacy, and the creative arts.”

  • Black Feminist Future “is an initiative informed by the legacy of Black feminist organizing, grounded in the current pulse of movements and located at the emergent need to amplify the power of black feminist leaders, organizations, and movements for the 21st century.”

  • Black Mamas Matter Alliance “is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. We center Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.”

  • Black Women for Wellness “is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment and advocacy.”

  • Black Women’s Blueprint “envisions a world where women and girls of African descent are fully empowered and where gender, race, and other disparities are erased.”

  • Black Women’s Health Imperative works to “lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S. Through investments in evidence-based strategies, we deliver bold new programs and advocate health-promoting policies.”

  • Sister Love, Inc. works “to eradicate the adverse impact of HIV, sexual and reproductive health rights and justice challenges impacting women and their families through education, prevention, support, research and human rights advocacy in the United States and around the world.”

  • Sister Reach works “to empower our base to lead healthy lives, raise healthy families, and live in healthy and sustainable communities by using a four-pronged strategy of education, policy and advocacy, culture change and harm reduction.”

  • Sister Song “is a Southern based, national membership organization; our purpose is to build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.”

  • The Afiya Center works “to serve Black women and girls by transforming their relationship with their sexual and reproductive health through addressing the consequences of reproduction oppression.”

#1Thing you can do this Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to use your online platforms to promote healing justice for Black survivors and advocates.

Transformative Facilitation: Building Virtual Communities

Relevant resources:

  • Register for NRCDV’s upcoming webinar, Transformative Facilitation: Building Virtual Communities, to explore ways the field must adapt to build engaging virtual spaces for meaningful engagement, peer support and healing.

  • Visit NSVRC’s website for ways to get involved with SAAM 2022.

  • Sign up for the Disruptor’s Digest Newsletter: The Disruptor's Digest from Me Too is a safe space where disruptors can find survivor-centered resources and news that promote healing and systemic disruption.

  • Tune into NRCDV’s radio’s podcast, Joy, Pride & Passion of Youth Activism to hear how young Black activists are using digital activism to challenge traditional social, economic, and political norms.

  • Check out the PreventIPV Tools Inventory for promising community-based prevention strategies. 

  • Access free awareness materials, social media imagery, and more from the Domestic Violence Awareness Project’s #1Thing campaign.