Last summer, the “St Paul’s Rape Case” prompted an important conversation about sexual assault and bullying in high school. Chessy, the high school survivor in the case, bravely decided to come forward and shatter the silence on the Today Show at the beginning of this school year and launch the #IHaveTheRightTo initiative with PAVE. Chessy Prout, PAVE Ambassador, wants to be a voice for others and refuses to be ashamed or silenced.
She recently spoke at Yale Law School about claiming her rights – and helping others do the same. This event was a Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop and co-hosted by Yale Law Women. Speakers included Yale Law Professor Noah Messing, Rachel Chung (Yale Law student class of 2018 and Yale Law Women) and Charles Pillsbury, distinguished practitioner in residence for dispute resolution who serves as the co-director of its Center on Dispute Resolution.
PAVE also honors Mr. Pillsbury’s voice and courage to speak out about sexual abuse. Inspired by Chessy, Mr. Pillsbury penned an article in the Hartford Courant called The Courage To Confront My Boarding School Burden where he reveals he is a survivor of sexual assault.
I was deeply moved, however, by the young woman’s public display of courage…It took my reading about this young woman’s remarkable moral courage and strength to report her assault at St. Paul’s to break the seal for me. – Charles Pillsbury
We applaud both Ms. Prout and Mr. Pillsbury to shed light, remove the shame, and transform their pain into something positive to help others. It is critical to start the conversation in secondary education. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. PAVE members have contributed to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault who recently released recommendations for K-12. PAVE Founder, Angela Rose, was asked to speak at the White House Summit for Women and Girls this summer about PAVE’s work in high schools.
Millions of people were reached with our #IHaveTheRightTo initiative thus far and you can participate on International Human Rights Day, December 10. Click here to learn more and take action!