The Unmentionables' Leaders Involved in New International Youth Collaborative Fighting Sexual Violence

Austin, TX, USA: The Young Leaders Against Sexual Violence initiative launched at the prestigious One Young World summit today will establish a proactive task force with the mission to combat sexual and gender-based violence. Two of intimate health nonprofit The Unmentionables’ most senior staff members are playing integral roles in the development and execution of this program; CEO and Co-founder Kaleigh Heard is the program director and Managing Director Genevieve Westrope is one of the eleven young leaders selected to take part in the inaugural program.

"The Unmentionables was founded in response to the health needs of sexually abused and exploited refugees and asylum seekers, and a commitment to preventing, intervening, and responding to sexual violence in all its forms is at the core of our mission,” says Heard. “It is an honor to be the Program Director of the Young Leaders Against Sexual Violence program and support these amazing young leaders in their work to eradicate sexual violence in their communities."

Over the course of the next two years, the participants will meet several times to develop high-impact solutions for fighting sexual and gender-based violence around the world. Of the eleven young leaders, Genevieve Westrope is the only one focused on addressing sexual and gender-based violence of the forcibly displaced. She was chosen to participate, in part, because of this: over 68.5 million forcibly displaced people are at high risk for sexual exploitation and violence in dozens of countries. Her work with The Unmentionables has focused on developing gender-transformative programming, equipping both men and women with the information and education necessary to counter gender inequality and sexual and reproductive rights violations.

"Having trained our educators and listened to the stories of our beneficiaries over the past year, it is clear that sexual violence within forced displacement crises is an issue that must be addressed head-on, in an innovative and groundbreaking way,” says Westrope. “Young people are in a unique and impactful position to combat sexual violence through transformative programming. The Unmentionables is a world leader in this area and it is an honor to have been selected as one of the Young Leaders Against Sexual Violence."

The program is supported by global leaders and activists including Fatima Bhutto, Rosario Dawson, Terry Crews, Amber Heard, and Tawakkol Karman. The other program participants include: Jaha Dukureh, Yeonmi Park, Amanda Nguyen, Kamolnan Chearavanont, Sebastian Kanz Sanchez, Queen Baboloki Kgeresi, Grace Forrest, Luke Hart, Hauwa Ojeifo, Stephen Land.

Daniel Berberi