Friday, November 13, 2015 by Action Alliance

Coalition Holds First-Ever Statewide Summit to Eliminate Sexual Violence Against People Incarcerated in Virginia

Richmond, VA – Today, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (Action Alliance), Virginia’s leading voice on sexual and intimate partner violence, held its first-ever annual statewide summit focused on preventing and eliminating sexual violence against people who are incarcerated.

Corrections professionals, state officials, policymakers and advocates came together from across the state to learn from each other and make plans to move forward in meaningful and proactive partnerships. Just Detention International, the leading health and human rights organization seeking to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention, presented training and facilitated group discussions along with key leaders from the Department of Corrections.

“The Action Alliance firmly believes that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted, and that includes people who are incarcerated. Rape is not part of the penalty. We are committed to strengthening the resources, trainings, and partnerships necessary to prevent and eliminate sexual violence against people who are incarcerated. We are also committed to helping advocates and our allied partners go beyond the requirements of the federal statute and create the culture transformation needed to make lasting change,” said Kristi Van Audenhove, Action Alliance Executive Director.

The federal law requiring federal, state, and local corrections systems to have a zero-tolerance policy regarding rape in prisons, jails, police lock-ups, and other confinement facilities is referred to as the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 or PREA. States have varying degrees of compliance, with Virginia being one of the top-complying states.

The summit was made possible by the Department of Criminal Justice Services STOP grant program funding. Plans for the second annual PREA Summit are already underway.
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About the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance
The Action Alliance has been Virginia’s leading voice on sexual and domestic violence for more than 30 years and enhances response and prevention efforts through training, public policy advocacy, public awareness programs, and technical assistance to professionals.

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