Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline presented by Black Women's Blueprint
“The Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline—An Institute to Unify Sexual Assault and Reproductive Justice Advocates”
While almost 20% (50 of 275) pregnant women assessed reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse across their lifespan (Ancient Song Doula Services), sexual assault and reproductive justice advocates do not yet have the appropriate framework, models and tools to address sexualized violence in reproductive healthcare. Sexual abuse and assault survivors report lasting impact throughout their reproductive life-span. In fact, there are over 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape each year in the United States (DOJ), while a recently completed study by Black Women's Blueprint found closer to seventy percent (70%) of girls experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18.
Penny Simkin’s book "When Survivors Give Birth" identifies the challenges between survivors and service providers through case studies and expertise on the pervasive lack of knowledge among diverse professionals who should be proficient in survivor-centered and trauma-informed care when engaging survivors, whether in reproductive justice or sexual violence intervention settings. Particularly, Black, Native American and Latinas are affected. When women of color walk into a medical institution or community center, all of our trauma shows up at the door with us. Sexual trauma greatly impacts the lives of women of color at varying points of receiving reproductive health care--beginning way before puberty, to the first visit to the gynecologist, through pregnancy and across the gamut of obstetrics services. Interviews with survivors reveal when women of color's lived experiences are not recognized and not addressed, it is difficult to make or keep their prenatal or maternal healthcare appointments especially in areas where health clinics are scarce. Inadequate prenatal care and psycho-social stressors on pregnant survivors during pregnancy and the birthing process will trigger or exacerbate health complications. They will experience postpartum issues and their doctors, trauma counselors and advocates will not link those issues to past or recent sexual trauma. We believe survivor-centered approaches can drastically reduce maternal mortality and the continuum of violence experienced by women across their reproductive lifespan.
This groundbreaking institute which allows us to all center the Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline. This session will bridge the reproductive justice and anti-violence movements through a rights-based framework if for gender-violence and sexual assault prevention advocates, reproductive justice and reproductive health advocates, public health, medical and holistic care practitioners seeking to transform the dynamics that can eventually lead to maternal mortality. The convening will raise awareness about how rape culture shows up in our programs and institutions, hindering women's access to trauma-informed services and reproductive health care. We will demonstrate the correlation to maternal mortality while providing a framework, model and tools developed by Black Women's Blueprint for public health, medical professionals, reproductive justice and sexual assault prevention advocates to radically shift the current
This training will examine the “Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline” and its markers from: sexual abuse, to unaddressed trauma, to superimposed social/structural stressors like racism and sexism, retraumatization within OBGYN experiences, distrust and avoidance of health care professionals, obstetrics violence and finally, maternal mortality.
It will also:
- Lay out recommendations for research to determine how pervasive this issue may be in maternal health and gynecological service settings across the nation.
- Expose the ways in which we neglect the sexual trauma histories — especially of Black women — who receive OB/GYN services and/or are at risk for pregnancy complications and maternal morbidity; and
- Offers policy recommendations to dismantle the-abuse-to-maternal-mortality-pipeline
Who should attend:
• Domestic and Sexual Violence Network and Tribal Programs
• Community Response Team members who focus sexual and domestic violence
• Community partners who center reproductive justice to survivors of sexual violence.
Location: This module will be held virtually over Zoom. The Zoom join link will be sent to you one week prior to the event with other training details. The information will be sent to the email you have shared in your registration.
Technology Access Requirements: Audio and video participation are required.
Facilitators: Members of Black Women’s Blueprint will guide us through this session. If you want to learn more about Black Women’s Blueprint please check out their website: https://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/about
YOU MUST REGISTER TO ATTEND.
Registration DEADLINE: 5 May 2021 or when session is full