The Most Dangerous Time

Leaving is impossible if you have no place to go By Pat Davenport Pat Davenport, a member of the Steering Committee of Chicago Says No More, is the Executive Director of A Safe Place in Zion, Illinois. When people ask why a victim of domestic violence stays with an abuser, frequently those asking the question fail to recognize the most basic human need—the need for shelter. The biggest barrier to victims leaving their abusers is often they have nowhere to go. At A Safe Place, our primary mission is to remove barriers to leaving an abusive relationship. And, to that end, A Safe Place...

First Response: The Importance of Listening When Sexual Assault Survivors Tell Their Stories

When New York Magazine published their now-iconic cover story featuring 35 women who reported that, over the course of many years, Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted them, social media was ablaze. With Cosby having admitted in a deposition to using Quaaludes with women, it seemed the tide had begun to turn from the aggressive doubting of these women’s accounts to a reluctant acceptance that perhaps Cosby had actually harmed them. Within their stories, and within the stories of so many of the survivors that we at Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) have served in Chicago since 1974, there’s a shared pivotal moment that deserves...

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