Advocate

Joyful Heart regularly seeks to mobilize our community to participate in advocacy campaigns to help bring attention to the issues affecting survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

We believe that through advocacy, we can shine a spotlight directly on the darkness and reality of these issues to those who are in a position to create lasting and systemic change—policymakers and government officials. By spreading the word about these issues, we can tell the stories of survivors—stories of their bravery, journey of how these issues have affected them. We can send the message that they and their experiences matter and that we will hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Your voice is a pivitol part of these efforts. We invite you to educate others—loved ones, friends and neighbors—to build strong and healthy communities. And we invite you to advocate to create the systemic changes to respond better to survivors and end all forms of violence and abuse.

Current advocacy campaign: Urge your government representatives to fund rape kit testing

When a victim of sexual assault reports the assault, a doctor or nurse will photograph, swab and conduct an invasive and exhaustive examination of the victim’s entire body for DNA evidence left behind by the attacker—a process that may take four to six hours to complete.

Most people—with good reason—assume that evidence will be utilized to its fullest extent and in a timely manner to bring a perpetrator to justice. The reality, though, is that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are estimated to be sitting untested in police and storage facilities across the country. We must eliminate this backlog. We must give survivors the justice they deserve. We must hold perpetrators accountable. The stakes are simply too high.

You can contact your state and federal elected officials quickly and easily on ENDTHEBACKLOG.org, our website dedicated to ending the rape kit backlog.

Get started right now:

We also invite you to stay informed about the rape kit backlog and to raise awareness in your community.

Finally, we encourage you to come back to this section regularly to keep informed of the latest advocacy opportunities. Over the coming months, we'll be updating it with new features so that you can take action and advocate even more easily. To receive more action alerts and updates, visit our sign up page here.

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