Journey To Equality

A window into Pakistan’s journey to equality

January 30th, 2020 by By Leila R. Milani Sr. International Policy Advocate

In December of 2019 I had the honor to travel to Pakistan as part of a United States-Pakistan collaborative exchange hosted by Right to Play Pakistan.  Participants included a small group of leaders from U.S. based girls’ and youth empowerment through sport organizations as well as Pakistani organizations using sport as a strategy to empower girls and young people. Women Win, a global leader in girls’ and women’s empowerment through sport served as the exchange program lead with support from the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.  This valuable exchange provided us with a window into the aspirations and struggles of some of the young women and girls in Pakistan, leaving us a bit more optimistic about its future, and a lot closer to its people.…

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image associate with post about survivors or stalking

For a Survivor of Stalking, Words Matter

January 28th, 2020 by By Aaron Polkey, Staff Attorney for Outreach & Engagement

You’ve heard it before. Someone casually mentions that they’re “stalking” someone or something. They doubtlessly intend to say that they’re tracking something benign, like occasionally checking a love interest’s social media profiles or the availability of an item they want on an e-commerce site.

Despite their good intentions, they’re misusing a term defined by the Department of Justice as conduct that “would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.”

I did not know the hurt of misusing “stalking” until a close friend took a stand. During a group conversation where the term was being misused, he disclosed that he has a stalker and added, preemptively, “yes, a real one.”

We should have honored our friend’s courageous disclosure with respect and empathy. Instead, we laughed. I’m not entirely sure why we didn’t take him seriously, but I …

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Pictured above: The front page of the “Aging with Respect” safety card. Five smiling older adults standing together in a park setting, arms over each other’s shoulders.

You’re Never Too Old to be Treated with Respect

December 11th, 2019 by Graciela Olguin and Anisa Ali

One in ten older adults report being abused, neglected or exploited by someone they know, such as a spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver [1]. Yet, many victims aren’t connected with social services or other avenues of support that can help them [2]. Health care providers and aging services program staff can play an important role in talking to patients about abuse in later life, including healthy and unhealthy relationships between their spouse, partner, family members, friends and caregivers.      

The good news is that now there’s a resource that can support this work.

Futures Without Violence recently partnered with National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), to create a patient education tool called “Aging with Respect.” This tool helps providers build connections with their patients via talking with them about what it means to have healthy relationships.…

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What can health providers and advocates do to alleviate anti-trans violence? What can we all do?

November 15th, 2019 by Graciela Olguin

This week (November 13th-19th) marks Trans Awareness week, an annually recognized week to highlight issues specific to the Transgender and Gender Non-conforming (Trans/GNC) communities. It is a week that culminates on November 20th, which is annually recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is a day to acknowledge those that we’ve lost to the persistent anti-trans violence within our society. To learn more, visit GLAAD’s webpages about Trans Awareness Week and TDOR.


Taking my first step into the field of violence prevention, I had a personal question about the meaning of “gender-based violence”. Surely, it must include folks that identify outside of the gender binary? When I started my position as Health Program Assistant at FUTURES, I was so excited to see resources specifically created for Trans/GNC communities, for my community. This week weighs heavily, and while the importance of remembrance …

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Family Violence Prevention and Services Act: 35 Years of Progress

October 10th, 2019 by

Only a generation ago, survivors of domestic violence had little in the way of institutional support. Law enforcement tended to treated acts of domestic violence as “private” or “family business.” Medical professionals were not trained to identify or support survivors seeking help, or to promote prevention. One survivor was asked about injuries in the emergency room, “Who did this to you?” and when she summoned the courage to say her husband hit her, her doctor replied, “You should learn to duck.” That survivor is now a doctor, and helps other providers understand the impacts of domestic violence, on both personal and public health. 

The enactment of the Family Violence Prevention and Service Act (FVPSA) in 1984 provided federal government resources to address domestic violence as a public health issue. The law has funded evidence-based interventions to support survivor health and safety,  along with programs to share these approaches among health …

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