A statement from SIECUS’ incoming President & CEO
For Immediate Release
March 27, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – Following new allegations of sexual misconduct within the fields of reproductive health and rights, Christine Soyong Harley, SIECUS’ incoming President and CEO, released the following statement:
“SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice is inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights to promote lifelong health and well-being for all. As such, I and the SIECUS Board reaffirm our commitment to stand in solidarity with all survivors who bravely come forward to share their experiences with sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct. SIECUS believes that sex education is a critical and necessary starting point for ending rape culture. But sex education alone cannot prevent sexual violence. Strategies to prevent sexual violence include: teaching healthy, intimate relationship skills that prevent abuses of power and promote consent, supporting survivors, and creating community-wide protective environments that stop it from happening in the first place. How we as individuals and institutions respond to disclosures of sexual harassment, misconduct, and violence is of the utmost importance. Accountability is also critical to both prevention and ensuring justice for survivors.
We must be willing to have honest and sometimes difficult conversations about sexual violence and abuse of power, and demand accountability for any misconduct in any workplace setting or movement space, including our own. We can only serve the people we are trying to reach – especially the young people who place their trust in us for information, education, and care – if we are committed to upholding our reproductive rights, health, and justice spaces to the utmost moral and ethical integrity and adherence to our values. Any failure by our movement to hold our own selves accountable is a failure to all who depend on us to fight for our collective liberation from sexual violence, coercion, and misconduct. SIECUS supports all efforts to find healing and justice for all survivors, and to advance a shared commitment to safety and accountability within our movement spaces.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.