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The Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline 

Webinar  Series

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Domestic and Sexual Violence Survivors, Their Risks for Maternal Mortality: Exposing the Invisible Pipeline

November 4 , 2019




Body Sovereignty: A primer on the intersection of environmental justice, sexual violence and reproductive health

December 13, 2019





The Neurobiology of Trauma in Pregnant Survivors

January 17, 2020





Mothers and Sex Objects: How Patriarchy and Racism Damages Women's Health 

January 31, 2020






Eliminating the Avoidance and Delay of Healthcare for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

February 11, 2020






The Abuse of Girls, Women and Gender Non-Conforming People in OBGYN and Prenatal Care: Cross-Sectoral Work and Coordinated Community Response In Prevention and Intervention

March 17, 2020





When the Body Speaks: Somatic Language Across the Continuum of Sexual and Reproductive Violations

March 31, 2020






Interrupting Obstetrics Violence in Labor and Delivery: Why It Should Matter to Gender Violence Advocates

April 14, 2020






Ending Maternal Mortality: Implications for Policy, Medical Practice and Culture Change

April 24, 2020


Black Women’s Blueprint coined the Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline (SAMM), the result of a six-year national sexual assault and GBV intervention process to collect survivor narratives as a Black Women’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Previous Institutes 

Summer 2019 

NYC July 25-26th, 2019

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Long Island University in Brooklyn

Health Sciences Building (room 119 & 121)

1 University Plaza

Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Washington, DC - August 7th, 2019

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Black Women's Health Imperative

700 Pennsylvania Ave SE

7th Floor Conference Room

Washington, DC 20003

Maps & Directions

The Sexual Violence to Maternal Mortalit

ATL August 1st - 2nd, 2019

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Loudermilk Conference Center

40 Courtland Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303


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Montgomery, AL - August 9th, 2019

9:00 am - 2:30 pm

Hilton Garden Inn Montgomery East

1600 Interstate Park Dr. 

Montgomery, AL 36109

Maps & Directions

“The Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline—An Institute to Unify Sexual Assault and Reproductive Justice, Advocates”

While almost 20% (50 of 275) pregnant women assessed reported having experienced some form of sexual abuse across their lifespan (Ancient Song Doula Services), sexual assault and reproductive justice advocates do not yet have the appropriate framework, models and tools to address sexualized violence in reproductive healthcare.  Sexual abuse and assault survivors report lasting impact throughout their reproductive life-span. In fact, there are over 32,000 pregnancies resulting from rape each year in the United States (DOJ), while a recently completed study by Black Women's Blueprint found closer to seventy percent (70%) of girls experienced sexual abuse before the age of 18.

Penny Simkin’s book "When Survivors Give Birth" identifies the challenges between survivors and service providers through case studies and expertise on the pervasive lack of knowledge among diverse professionals who should be proficient in survivor-centered and trauma-informed care when engaging survivors, whether in reproductive justice or sexual violence intervention settings. Particularly, Black, Native American and Latinas are affected. When women of color walk into a medical institution or community center, all of our trauma shows up at the door with us. Sexual trauma greatly impacts the lives of women of color at varying points of receiving reproductive health care--beginning way before puberty, to the first visit to the gynecologist, through pregnancy and across the gamut of obstetrics services. Interviews with survivors reveal when women of color's lived experiences are not recognized and not addressed, it is difficult to make or keep their prenatal or maternal healthcare appointments especially in areas where health clinics are scarce. Inadequate prenatal care and psycho-social stressors on pregnant survivors during pregnancy and the birthing process will trigger or exacerbate health complications. They will experience postpartum issues and their doctors, trauma counselors and advocates will not link those issues to past or recent sexual trauma. We believe survivor-centered approaches can drastically reduce maternal mortality and the continuum of violence experienced by women across their reproductive lifespan.

This groundbreaking convening “The Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline”: a two - day institute to bridge the reproductive justice and anti-violence movements through a rights-based framework if for gender-violence and sexual assault prevention advocates, reproductive justice and reproductive health advocates, public health, medical and holistic care practitioners seeking to transform the dynamics that can eventually lead to maternal mortality. The convening will raise awareness about how rape culture shows up in our programs and institutions, hindering women's access to trauma-informed services and reproductive health care. We will demonstrate the correlation to maternal mortality while providing a framework, model and tools developed by Black Women's Blueprint for public health, medical professionals, reproductive justice and sexual assault prevention advocates to radically shift the current paradigms.

learning Objectives

Learn about the pipeline connecting gender violence to maternal mortality.

Listen to survivors about their interconnected experiences and request for advocates.

Discuss ways to unite the reproductive justice and gender violence fields. 

Identify ways to address sexual assault and maternal health from understanding the pipeline. 


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