Raising awareness is her goalYo Digo No Más focuses on preventing sexual violence through sharing survivors’ stories and expert guidance on why sexual violence happens and how it can be prevented, Torres said. Trusa said there is a lot of work to do on raising awareness in the Latinx community. “We in the Latinx community believe that family is the most important above everything else and that sometimes enables perpetrators to continue in not being held accountable,” Torres said. And other factors, such as socioeconomic status and access to healthcare, put the Latinx community more at risk for sexual assault, Torres said. Yo Digo No Más also produces a talk show on YouTube, where shows are presented in Spanish or English, with subtitles in the other language. “As a school district, our work must be to educate, bring awareness, and offer services to our students and families, who are over 60% Latino,” said Yonkers Public School Superintendent Edwin Quezada in a statement. “We must empower our children with confidence and knowledge to use their voices.” Trusa frequently reflects on her life in a podcast on her website, mariatrusa.org. She also published an autobiography on how she overcame the trauma of the assault, “I Say No More: Raise your voice and rewrite your life.” Torres and Trusa highlighted some widely shared statistics on sexual assault:
- Almost 1 in 3 female victims of rape experienced it for the first time between age 11 and 17 and almost 1 in 9 reported that it happened when they were 10 or younger.
- In the U.S., 81% of women and 43% of men reported some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime. Every 68 seconds in the U.S, someone is sexually assaulted, and every 9 minutes, the victim is a child.
- People age 12-34 are at the highest risk of sexual assault.