The COVID-19 pandemic has so far left more than 68,000 deaths and 5 million infections in every corner of New York. But silently, and without being able to know for sure the magnitude of the seriousness of the situation, sexual violence has become another pandemic, of which it is estimated, every 9 minutes a child is being abusedwith sequels for life.
This is how he denounces it Maria Trusasurvivor of sexual violencewho 47 years after being abused in her native Dominican Republic, when she was just a 9-year-old girl, decided to reveal her own story of pain to “heal”help other victims, and prevent further attacks.
And this Saturday, during the end of the National Sexual Assault Awareness Monththrough the movement “I say no more”which was created a year and a half ago, together with community leaders, members of the Yonkers school district, the third largest in the state of New York, and the local Mayor’s Office, Trusa is promoting a march against sexual violence north of the Big Apple.
“With the march ‘I say no more’we seek to make a call against sexual violence that affects all Hispanic families, which has become another silent pandemic, destroying lives and millions of people, where in more than In 90% of cases, the person who abuses children and robs them of their innocence is someone in the family. or close to the family,” said the activist and writer.
BriefsWho else has a Youtube channel where he addresses the issue, he stressed that the walk, as well as a series of workshops on sexual violence that will take place as part of the initiative, are important steps to help “break the silence” about the epidemic of sexual abuse and start the path of the healing
“To me it took me 47 years to talk about the sexual abuse I suffered when my father, who was supposed to be my protector, handed me over like an animal to his friend. And that person destroyed my body, made me drink a bottle of whiskey that I didn’t think would make it out alive and then the whole town knew that we had to move and I stopped talking about that secret because one feels ashamed and sad so big”, revealed the Dominican, who asked parents to be very attentive to the behavior of their children and give them the necessary confidence so that they can speak openly about what is happening to them.
“As a child, one is silent and lives badly with that secret. And when he’s older he says ‘why should I say it, this has already happened and I’m going to destroy my family’. And since we shut it up, we feed that pandemic, because those abusers abuse others around them. That is why in our workshops we talk to parents about how to see the red flags in their children,” said the survivor of sexual abuse. “We have to understand that the greatest crime that exists is to break the innocence of a child and that the healing process only begins when we talk, and even if it takes years, we are also protecting other children so that the same thing does not happen to them.”
Besides of the march “I say no more”which will start at 11:00 a.m. Yonkers City Hall Unity Fountain and will end at the Eugenio María Hostos Microsociety Schoolthere will be nine workshops on different topics related to sexual abuse.
The idea of creating these spaces is for a group of professionals, experts, and specialized organizations to plant a seed to educate and empower children and adolescents, as well as parents, caregivers, Yonkers public school teachers, and the community in general. , to understand and prevent sexual violence.
Betty Rodrigueza 62-year-old Latin mother, who at the age of 12 was sexually abused in Colombia by her own father, becoming pregnant, also joined the call to raise her voice against this scourge and insisted that different sectors unite to be able to give her the importance that the fight against abuse and helping victims deserve.
“I was abused and I had a son who is 48 years old, and only after four decades was I able to talk about it and it was the greatest form of healing. Being able to speak freely about what I had been carrying changed my life, to the point that I have even forgiven my father and I am in the process of forgiving my mother, who, although she is already dead, I continue to claim for having taken me out of the house. to a boarding school and having accepted that she was a mother at the age of 12.
The Colombian survivor highlighted that in the community latina from new york It is urgent that more is spoken about the subject and more resources are allocated to help stop this pandemic of sexual abuse and healing.
“The abuse among us Latinos is handled as a secret, so what will they say, because adults do not think about the pain of children who, since they have no voice, make adults decide for them, in what becomes a double rape”, said the activist, who sent a clear and strong message to the victims not to suffer alone.
“We must not be silent. I never want to shut up again, because we are human beings, and society is responsible for staining us. Since I spoke, I feel like the cleanest woman, because the truth is that all raped children feel dirty, ugly, we have a bad character, we live on the defensive. I always lived hurt and massacred, but since I was freed, I live better, and even the color of my eyes changed, “added the Colombian, who is also a cancer survivor and promotes mammograms among Latinas.
The City of Yonker Mayor Mike Spanowill also join the demonstration against sexual violence, and assured the victims that there are people and programs to reach out to them.
“Yonkers’ first sexual assault march is a tribute to the many survivors, whose voices are often silenced. This march is our recognition of them and their stories, saying ‘we listen to you and we are here to help you’”, assured the local president. “Thank you Yonkers Public Schools and I say no more for shedding light on such an important issue, providing much-needed awareness and support.”
According to data provided by the promoters of the march, 81% of women and 43% of men in the country reported some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime. And every 68 seconds, a person is sexually assaulted, which shows the seriousness of the crisis that exists regarding sexual violence.
The organizers of the walk also stressed that to prevent sexual violence, it is necessary to teach skills and equip children, parents and teachers with practical tools, which is why they work together with Stony Brook Medicine, the ‘me too’ movementand mental health professionals in programs to empower and educate on the subject.
Facts about the “I Say No More” March
- April 30 the event will take place
- Time: 11:00 a.m.
- Start Site: Yonkers City Hall Unity Fountain: 40 South Broadway, Yonkers NY
- Closing site of the march: Eugenio María Hostos Microsociety School: 75 Morris st. Yonkers NY
Where to get more information about the campaign
- You can visit the following link: https://yodigonomas.com/ to learn more and register for the different workshops that will be offered simultaneously
- You can subscribe to the channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj_cn43tgGkRxZdlVYYaAkQ
- 12:30 pm: There will be a talk on healing, with the Me Too Movement
- 12:30 pm Trauma-informed systems for schools, with Kimberly Alba and Crista Maracic
- 12:30 pm Guide to better mental health, with Lisset Herrera
- 12:30 pm Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Violence in Westchester, with Fredric I. Green and Christine Hatfield
- 12:30 pm Teen Dating Violence and Healthy Relationships, with Janelle Armentano
- 12:30 pm Breaking the intergenerational trauma, with Priscila Méndez
- 12:30 pm Parenting skills to prevent sexual violence, with María Trusa
- 1:10 p.m. Standing Up for Herself: Conversation with the Mother of a Child Survivor of Abuse
We wish to thank the author of this article for this incredible material
They promote a march against sexual violence “I say no more” and ask to join efforts to end this pandemic