Survivors Speak, an annual convening by Crime Survivors for Safety & Justice (CSSJ) during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, took place on April 9 and 10, 2018 in Sacramento, California. It brought together more than 600 crime survivors to share stories, honor loved ones, and advocate for new safety solutions that can transform communities and the state of California.
sujatha baliga, Vice President of Impact Justice and Director of the Restorative Justice Project, is a founding member of CSSJ, which is a nationwide movement that began in California five years ago and elevates the voices and stories of crime survivors to advance a new safety narrative. sujatha spoke on a panel and led two workshops at the convening: “Exploring Forgiveness” and “Telling Your Story to Change The World.”
“The shame and secrecy that is embedded in this issue can only end when I sit up here and tell the whole world that I was sexually abused as a child, that I was sexually assaulted in college, that I was raped right after college, and I don’t carry any shame about that” sujatha said on a panel called “A Dialogue with Survivor Leaders from Across the Country: How survivors are turning pain into power and organizing to transform the nation.” Other panelists included #MeToo Movement founder Tarana Burke; Parkland shooting survivor Sam Fuentes; National Organizer for CSSJ and Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), Aswad Thomas; and Vice President and Co-Founder of ASJ, Robert Rooks. Other members of the Restorative Justice Project also attended the convening.