Domestic, sexual and trafficking violence occurs around the world, but even so – people rarely recognize it in their own communities. Senior Fellow Crystal Napoli created Serving Local Survivors Panel Discussion to raise awareness surrounding these three distinct but related types of violence as they are occurring locally throughout New Hampshire and Maine. Additionally, for those who are familiar with this topic, it is easy to feel hopeless; for that reason, this event was meant to focus on the solutions and innovations that are creatively and effectively addressing the issue of ending gender-based violence.
The panel brought together voices from different perspectives – a local survivor of child sex trafficking who launched her own community education initiative, an academic who is conducting cutting-edge research while developing evidence-based prevention programming, a CEO of the New Hampshire branch of one of the oldest women’s organizations in the country who understands crisis services and a policy specialist who understands what legislative changes are needed to make lasting change.
“Ending gender-based violence ought to be one of the highest priorities on the agenda for this generation.”
When organizing this panel, Crystal was trying to identify four speakers and one moderator for the discussion.
Crystal achieved tremendous personal growth in her activism by doing something that she was, at first, uncomfortable with.
After reflecting on her intentions for this project, it was easy to decide on who she wanted to invite as the four speakers – however, she still did not know who should moderate. After careful thought and encouragement from her peers, Crystal decided to be the moderator even though it was out of her comfort zone.
She knew that she was the sole person who could guide the panel discussion in a way that would achieve her vision. In addition to raising awareness for this topic, Crystal achieved tremendous personal growth in her activism by doing something that she was at first uncomfortable with.
“Humanity in Action as well as my personal mentors empowered me to achieve this growth.”
The event has passed, so there are no next steps for the panel itself. However, Crystal designed an “action sheet” that was distributed at the panel so that those attendees who were inspired could learn more and get involved in the domestic, sexual, and trafficking violence field.
Some recommendations she gave for anyone looking to get involved in this field included: staying up to date on relevant legislation, reading or watching documentaries about ending violence, learning how to support survivors you may encounter in your immediate social bubble and volunteering at a crisis center.