Raliance: Launching an unapologetically bold mission

Staff from NSVRC, CALCASA, and NAESV attend the Raliance launch celebration

By Julie Patrick, Raliance (NSVRC)

Raliance is a new collaborative initiative with a bold mission to end sexual violence in one generation. Three top sexual violence prevention organizations – the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)-PreventConnect, and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) – created Raliance to serve as a central hub for effective allocation and distribution of programmatic funding and the go-to resource for policymakers, advocates, service providers, and the media.

Why now? We are experiencing a watershed moment. With high-profile cases over the past few years triggering a national conversation on sexual violence, the time to rally communities and the public is now. We know prevention is happening – but more must be done. Without centralized support, misconceptions and barriers to accessing resources persist. We’ve catalogued the events and efforts responsible for creating this critical moment in our inaugural report, Ending Sexual Violence in One Generation: A Progress Report for the United States. 

The name Raliance was inspired by our desire to rally engagement from stakeholders and align goals and resources behind our overarching mission to end sexual violence once and for all. Raliance is committed to being unapologetically bold by driving innovation to end sexual violence, convening thought leadership, and distributing resources to advance the conversation.

Driving Innovation

Raliance awarded nearly $1.2 million in competitive grants for 27 local projects led by organizations across the country in an ongoing grant program that seeks to advance promising, replicable practices or policies that:
•    Improve the response to victims of sexual violence; 
•    Reduce the likelihood of perpetration of sexual violence; or 
•    Strengthen communities’ and organizations’ capacity to create safe environments. 

The diverse projects being funded will work with communities of color and LGBTQ populations, helping to provide treatment for people at risk of causing harm, and conducting outreach with sports teams, bars, restaurants, and other new partners. An additional round of funding will drive $600,000 to programs in 2017, and a third round of grants will be announced in spring 2017. For more information on our grant program, including a full list of selected first-round grantees, visit www.raliance.org.

With its research partner, the Center on Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego, Raliance has identified that sports culture has the opportunity to shape and transmit values and can also be used to prevent sexual violence. Raliance is also mapping prevention practices and programs throughout the sports pipeline from youth to professional leagues to identify promising initiatives as well as opportunities for new efforts. 

We also recognize that ending sexual violence requires meaningful policy solutions. Raliance hosted a policy think tank in December 2016 to engage experts across social justice issues and inform a robust forward-leaning policy agenda.

Pictured: Raliance staff members Julie Patrick, National Partners Liaison (NSVRC); Ebony Tucker, Advocacy Director (NAESV); and Lindsay McDaniel Mapp, Prevention Manager (PreventConnect-CALCASA).

Changing Conversations About Sexual Violence

Changing conversations begins with improving society’s understanding of what enables sexual violence to exist and persist. This viewpoint is often shaped by the media. Raliance has invested in researching effective communication to promote clear and consistent conversations about sexual assault among individuals and in news coverage. In spring 2017, we will host a media summit for journalists and those in entertainment media to celebrate and advance informed and accurate reporting and storytelling.

Engaging Youth as Change-Makers

Through supporting youth and nurturing the conditions for their own empowerment, Raliance hopes to encourage youth to bring learning and activism back to their communities to end gender-based violence. 

To help us build collective power and voice to achieve this, we are convening ThisGEN: Youth Summit from March 6-10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. This five-day event will engage eleventh and twelfth grade students in leadership and learning opportunities through three tracks:
•    Using social media and messaging to change public opinion and discourse about gender-based violence 
•    Leveraging the influence of sports and athletes to end gender-based violence 
•    Catalyzing individuals and communities through community organizing and policy advocacy to end gender-based violence 

Engaging the Field & Actively Listening

Raliance is poised to support a continued discussion about ending sexual violence. 

But we cannot do this alone. In fact, Raliance is made possible through a multi-year, $10 million dollar commitment from the National Football League. We have seen a lot of organizations struggle with how to address sexual violence in a meaningful way. The NFL’s commitment to join the sexual violence prevention movement is unprecedented, representing the first-ever major corporate funding of sexual violence prevention initiatives. 

This level of corporate partnership from a national organization with extensive reach and influence is a major moment for our movement, and exactly what is needed to change our culture. We invite other corporate partners to join our efforts. 

The communities and organizations all of you represent are vital to achieving our mission. Our D.C. office is now open, and we look forward to collaborating to raise our collective voice and end sexual violence.


Find Raliance at www.raliance.org and on Facebook and Twitter @Ralianceorg

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