WHEREAS, sexual violence, sexual assault, and rape are unacceptable, abhorrent acts of violence and aggression; and
WHEREAS, an act in which consent is not given or against the victim’s will is assault and is not the fault of the victim. Sexual violence is an issue of epidemic proportions; and
WHEREAS, several survivors in our own county have bravely brought forward the acts of violence they survived at the hands of several of our county's top elected officials. At the same time, they expose themselves to reliving the trauma publicly so that the rest of us may not suffer the same consequences; and
WHEREAS, the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women (SoCo CSW) firmly condemns acts of sexual violence, sexual assault, and rape.
WHEREAS, it takes great bravery and courage to speak your truth knowing others may condemn, humiliate, disbelieve or victim-blame you. These conversations can be difficult, traumatic, and triggering. However, as allies, it is our responsibility to commit to education and awareness efforts to both address and condemn sexual violence.
WHEREAS, sexual violence occurs when a person chooses to exploit a vulnerability they see in another person—and this criminal behavior can take place whether or not alcohol or drugs are involved.
WHEREAS, offenders often use drugs and alcohol strategically when it comes to sexual assault: they know that someone who is severely intoxicated is often unable to stay conscious, have control of their bodies or surroundings and are likely to have gaps in memory; perpetrators use drugs or alcohol to lower their own inhibitions; and they rely on public opinion to not take reports of sexual assault seriously if the victim and/or offender were intoxicated. The offenders count on “us” to excuse their actions.
WHEREAS, one rape is too many. The experience of sexual assault can be devastating, often derailing the pursuit of education, disrupting relationships, destroying a survivor’s sense of safety in the world and creating doubts about self-worth and a survivor’s ability to determine whom they can and cannot trust. Sexual assault damages communities and our society as a whole; and
WHEREAS, statistics represent the stories of the countless survivors of sexual violence, many of whom were afraid to tell their friends, go to the police or confide in their families; their fears are largely rooted in the knowledge that their stories and actions—and thus their pain—are likely to be doubted by a culture that needs to do much better in listening to survivors. SoCo CSW knows that traumatizing acts of sexual violence are widespread and affect all genders, races, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
WHEREAS, SoCo CSW commends Verity - Sonoma County's sexual abuse, trauma and rape crisis center - in their consistent, compassionate outreach to the survivors of sexual violence, supporting survivors in sharing their truth, as well as supporting survivors who have been triggered by their stories.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women Stands with Survivors; and
Therefore, be it resolved that the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women Believes Survivors; and
Therefore, be it finally resolved that the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women will donate $1,000 to Verity with the passage of this resolution.
THE FORGOING RESOLUTION was put forth Put forth by 2nd District Commissioners Trisha Almond, and was duly adopted on the 13th day of May, 2021 with the following vote:
Ayes: 10 Noes: 0 Absent: 3 Abstained: 1