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The Impact of Medical Racism and Sexism on Maternal/Child Health

One of the most insidious forms of racial oppression is medical racism which, combined with medical sexism, causes especially devastating harm to Black women and children. Black women are 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. The majority of the deaths, 2 in 3, are preventable, and all of the causes of these disparities can be traced back to structural racism. A general lack of access to medical care means that Black mothers are much more likely to receive prenatal care late in their pregnancy…

Preventing Interpersonal Violence With a More Equal And Just Economy

Understanding the factors that make people more vulnerable to interpersonal violence can also help us identify protective factors that can keep them safe. This is how we begin to understand violence prevention in a more holistic way. It’s not just about addressing restrictive gender roles and educating people about healthy relationships. We also need to look at how various forms of oppression make people more vulnerable to violence, and understand that the struggle to end interpersonal violence is tied to other struggles for justice. Poverty is one such form of…

Creating a Culture of Prevention In the Hospitality Industry

Party Smart started out as a public awareness campaign to provide basic safety tips to local and visiting party goers on the Strip. Over time, as new research and best practices for violence prevention became available, Party Smart shifted to educating the public about active bystander intervention. A few years ago, that public education turned into structured training in bystander intervention for staff at bars and nightclubs. Today, Party Smart encompasses both the Stay SAFE (Sex Assault Free Environments) and SAint (Sexual Assault Intervention) trainings. In partnership with LVMPD Crime…

Federal Action on MMIW

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women reaches back beyond the beginnings of the United States as a nation. We now recognize how sexual violence has been deployed against Indigenous communities as a tactic of genocide. In recent history, we’ve made small moves to begin addressing this violence – like increasing protections for Indigenous women in the Violence Against Women Act. Now, following tireless activism by Indigenous communities, the federal government is taking significant action to address these issues. In October 2020, two bills seeking to address violence against Indigenous…

The Texas Abortion Ban and the Need for Federal Protections for Victims

Earlier this month, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals restored the Texas ban on abortions after six weeks. Dr. Alan Braid of San Antonio is already facing multiple lawsuits under the “bounty hunting” provision of the ban, which allows any private citizen to sue a person who in some way assists or facilitates a patient’s access to abortion services to the tune of $10,000. This law is troubling enough even before noting the lack of exceptions for rape or incest. But this law doesn’t just leave out victims of…

Men Can Stop Toxic Masculinity

Toxic masculinity is a definition of manhood that is based on the idea that men need to be dominant and violent. This version of manhood dictates that there is such a thing as a “real man” and that he is physically powerful, sexually aggressive, and shows his worth by dominating others. This “real man” suppresses his emotions, has a homophobic aversion to emotional connection and physical affection with other men, and rejects anything remotely “feminine” as weak and inferior. He views gender as a stark binary, women as sexual objects,…

Using Technology Wisely To Improve Accessibility

There’s no doubt that technology is a double-edged sword. It can be a convenient and effective tool for expanding access to services. But unless digital systems are applied thoughtfully, interacting with them can quickly become frustrating and dehumanizing. Signs of Hope turned to technology during the pandemic to provide the community with a way to use our services while protecting everyone’s physical safety. The result is that our services became more accessible than they ever had been before for people who encountered barriers to visiting our center in person. Those…

The 2021 Legislative Session

The 2021 Legislative Session

After a legislative session that felt particularly demanding as it juggled the impact of the pandemic in addition to a regular slate of concerns, here are just a few pieces of legislation that passed which are relevant to our work here at Signs of Hope. AB30 This piece of legislation expanded the purpose of the Account for Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence. Previously, funds from this account could only be awarded to non-profit organizations that exclusively served victims of Domestic Violence. Now, organizations that serve victims of sexual violence…

Racism, Sexism, and the Hypersexualization of Asian Women

The Atlanta shooting earlier this year resulted from an intersection of racism, sexism, and anti-sex-worker stigma that is not new to women of Asian descent. Historically in the US, racism and sexism have always intersected to create the hypersexualization of Women of Color. Sexualization is another way of saying sexual objectification, in which a person or group of people is treated as a sexual object instead of a person. When we talk about hypersexualization in this context, we are identifying the ways in which this dehumanizing objectification disproportionately affects Women…

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