At The Voices and Faces Project, we are passionate about bringing the voices and faces of victims of rape, sexual violence and/or sexual exploitation to the attention of the public.
The survivors who share their stories with our project do not do so because it is healing—although it can be—but because it is necessary in a world that too often blames, shames and silences victims. Indeed, given the social stigma associated with sexual violence, publicly identiftying as a survivor of such violence can be in and of itself marginalizing.
But while it is true that there are challenges faced by all survivors of sexual violence, regardless of their level of social or economic privilege, it must also be acknowledged that victims from communities that have been historically denied basic civil or human rights—including communities of color, people with disabilities, those who are incarcerated, those working in prostitution, those from oppressed religious communities, homeless or impoverished persons, and gay, lesbian and transgendered persons—are too often doubly silenced.
Through our documentary and creative efforts, we at The Voices and Faces Project are charged with not only reflecting the unique challenges faced by survivors of sexual violence who are members of these communities, but challenging a world that too often fails to protect their basic human or civil rights. In short, we do not believe it possible to further our efforts on behalf of victims without actively engaging in efforts to create a more inclusive culture.
Diversity is a part of our organization's value system and is essential to our ability to develop and deliver programs that challenge and change minds, hearts and public policies. Our personnel policies are non-discriminatory and affirmative. Our organizational culture respects the contributions of and seeks out diversity in its leaders, personnel and clients. Further, we ask and demand that our on and offline communications efforts reflect this spirit of inclusion and diversity in actionable ways, as we believe that media representations are critical to advocating for a more inclusive culture. Both of our websites (voicesandfaces.org and counterquo.org) are testaments to our vision of inclusion, and they must continue to be as we grow and evolve.
Finally, we believe that our Board of Directors/Advisors must reflect our commitment to diversity. For this reason we have built a survivor-driven board that is also a highly diverse one, where leaders from the communities we serve and seek to represent have a powerful voice.