The Army of Survivors, the only national organization specializing in the advocacy for and support of athlete survivors of sexual violence in sports, released its 2022 Impact Report. The report highlighted significant growth in the organization’s advocacy efforts, with expanded policy endorsement at the state and federal levels; as well as spotlighted the far-reaching education and resource work put into action in the last year.
In 2022, The Army of Survivors endorsed and saw the passage into law of several important bills to support survivors including: Respect for Child Survivors Act, Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2022, Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, and the Speak Out Act. Last year also marked the passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 2022, which created an interagency task force on sexual violence, increased allowable funding for the prevention of sexual violence, as well as training and funding for campus health providers to support a trauma-informed care approach, in addition to other critical changes for underrepresented survivors.
On the advocacy side, the organization also hosted Trauma-Informed Survivor Legislative Advocacy Training sessions for survivors. Following the four-part training, The Army of Survivors hosted its first-ever Awareness and Education Day on the Hill in Washington D.C. to bring attention to the topic of abuse in sports by connecting Congress with TAOS and upholding survivor voices at the center of the work. During the trip, survivors met with multiple Senators’ and Representatives’ offices, the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Gender Policy Council.
The organization also expanded its international presence, joining the WeProtect Global Alliance to build a digital world to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
In addition to the organization’s advocacy work, The Army of Survivors prioritized various education and resource opportunities in 2022. The organization released an adaptation of the Power & Control Wheel which focuses on the specific power and control tactics found in sports environments. A 2022-24 Strategic Plan was also released, detailing objectives in the areas of advocacy, educational, and resource development. The strategy guides the organization in generating greater momentum for social change and creating a safer environment for athletes of all ages.
Notably, on the international scale, the organization took part in two press briefings as members of the Sport & Rights Alliance – the first briefing ahead of the Beijing Olympics and the second prior to the FIFA world cup. Each briefing provided journalists with information and training related to the human rights issues surrounding both events and travel safety advice.
“2022 was a big year for The Army of Survivors,” said Grace French, President of The Army of Survivors. “Not only did we expand our staff with the hire of a Director of Programs, but we also supported multiple federal bills, helped pass two state laws in Michigan, held multiple survivor speak outs, and created a groundbreaking and free Abuse in Sports Resource platform. We look forward to continuing our survivor-led, survivor-centered work to create greater awareness, accountability, and transparency surrounding abuse in sports.”
To learn more about our work, and for anyone in need of resources please visit: TheArmyofSurvivors.org