by BriteHeart | 12.30.18
One of the recurring themes of The Tennessean Editorial Board’s Civility Tennessee campaign is that civility is the opposite of avoidance.
In fact, it is about confronting tough issues.
Among the toughest issues American society has confronted of late is the unreported and underreported incidence of sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
The #MeToo movement created an important space for victims and survivors to share their pain and hold their assailants — and the people who dismissed them — to account.
A brave champion is Ashley Judd, the actress and Leiper's Fork homeowner, who risked her career by publicizing her victimization by powerful media mogul Harvey Weinstein.
The Tennessean editorial board honored Bill and Crissy Haslam; James Shaw Jr.; and Ashley Judd, the Sexual Assault Center and YWCA. Michael Schwab, Nashville Tennessean
She is outspoken even in the face of abusive, misogynistic attacks on social media.
“We can start to take that journey to becoming an empowered survivor and can advocate for others,” said Judd at a recent Sexual Assault Center Mad Hatterfundraising dinner in Williamson County.
December political cartoons from the USA TODAY Network
The Sexual Assault Center helps victims of sexual abuse receive the help they need, from counseling to rape kits to educating bar owners to use coasters that can detect when drinks get drugged.
SAC President and CEO Rachel Freeman recently wrote in a guest column about why rape victims, especially women, do not report the crimes against them: “Now, as our nation grapples with understanding the lifelong trauma perpetrated by rape and attempted rape and speculates about victims who may take years to come forward, it is imperative to be well-informed about the realities of sexual assault.”
President and CEO of the Sexual Assault Center Rachel Freeman, Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Mark Zaleski/ The Tennessean)
Freeman and her team are doing essential work for the community.
At the same, The YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee also makes Tennessee and Nashville safer for women and girls by offering them shelter, services and programs.
This state is fifth of 50 in the rate in which men kill women.
In a recent guest column, YWCA President and CEO Sharon Roberson wrote an impassioned plea for Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act: “All survivors of gender-based violence should have access to services and programs to help them recover, heal, and rebuild their lives.”
Another important program is AMEND Together, which began under Roberson’s predecessor Pat Shea, and works to eliminate toxic masculinity in boys and young men so they will treat women and girls with respect.
Nashville and Middle Tennessee YWCA President and CEO Sharon K. Roberson, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, in Nashville,Tenn. (Photo: Mark Zaleski/The Tennessean)
Organizations including the Nashville Predators have joined the effort.
Civility is a citizen’s role in improving society and tackling tough issues.
That is why The Tennessean Editorial Board names Ashley Judd, the Sexual Assault Center of Middle Tennessee and the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee the People of the Year in the Civility category.
Opinion and Engagement Editor David Plazas wrote this editorial on behalf of The Tennessean Editorial Board whose members comprise Editor Michael Anastasi, Executive Editor Maria De Varenne and Plazas. Call him at (615) 259-8063, email him at email@example.com or tweet to him at @davidplazas.
Written by BriteHeart
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