Governor Newsom: Prevention Works! Together We Can End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

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In between the lines of millions of survivors’ stories and the continued growth of the “me too.” movement, you’ll see an urgent call to action: end this violence for future generations. The costs in are staggering: In California, the price we pay for sexual violence is $140 billion. Nation-wide, the lifetime economic burden of domestic violence is $3.6 trillion. To truly honor survivors, we must prioritize prevention while continuing to provide support for healing.

Why prevention? Because it works to address root causes of violence. It teaches safe and healthy relationship skills much earlier in life, improves school climate and safety, engages boys and men in gender equity, and promotes racial justice with culturally-responsive solutions  Smart, proactive strategies like these move us forward.

In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown and the California legislature heard your activism, and made the first substantial investment in prevention in state history. As you read this, communities across the state are seeing the impact of $10 million in new funding. We need to maintain this momentum, and increase last year’s allocation to prevent sexual and domestic violence!

HARRT Youth Leaders Margelis Hernandez and Avery Weber tell us about the impact of their work at Downey High School—and illustrate a vision of what we may hope to see on a much larger scale with an ongoing $50 million investment:

“We are preventing sexual violence by keeping our classmates in check; by calling each other out when we are making people uncomfortable; by establishing the idea of that no means no.”

“We want classmates to stand up for one another and educate others. We want teachers to be aware. Sometimes the best we can do is give information—but we are giving resources that most teens will never have otherwise, and that can change lives.”

Our movements are taking guidance directly from communities at the intersections of racial, economic, and gender violence. Veronica Lagunas, Janitor, Promotora and Peer Trainer with Service Employees International United Service Workers West, is effecting grassroots change:

“Women in the janitorial industry are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence. For us, prevention is centered around empowering janitors to train their peers and provide the tools to combat the pervasive toxic culture that allows sexual violence. By teaching our fellow janitors to identify sexual harassment at its earliest stages, and empowering them to intervene to prevent it and report it, we are changing the culture of our industry from the bottom up.”

You can see the power of prevention already occurring in our state. Help us amplify and expand these efforts. Sign this petition to tell Governor Newsom that prevention works, and urge him to support $50 million in ongoing funding to end sexual and domestic violence.

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