Conversations about sexuality and sexual health can prove difficult, even for those who are part of the anti-violence movement. Healthy sexuality can seem disparate from our day-to-day work with survivors. We have each been taught things about our bodies and sexuality, from our families, life experiences, and society. Sometimes the ways we are taught about our bodies and ourselves are loving and expansive, but many have been taught shame or misinformation. These teachings are seeds that are planted, either to help us flourish or wilt. They are also inextricably linked to how we view and understand sexual violence. Together, we will explore the biases we hold and how to shift to repair the harm done not only by violence but also by harmful frameworks about sexuality. By repairing harms done to us, both individually and collectively, we are better able to reclaim body sovereignty and holistic sexuality as integral steps in the prevention of and healing from sexual violence across the lifespan. This session will explore these linkages as well as how knowledge and integration of culture bring both protective factors and areas of focus for change. 


Nicole Matthews, Jolene Engelking

Area of Focus

Culturally Specific Sexual Assault Centers (CSSAC)