FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2015
NEW YORK, NY-- Truth in Reality, a social advocacy organization founded to change the media representation of women of color and address the harmful effects of violent reality television in order to combat real-life gender-based violence, announces its latest venture: the #99Seconds event series. #99Seconds is an event that honors the experiences of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Its name originates from the sobering statistic that in the United States a woman is sexually assaulted every 90 seconds and battered every 9 seconds. By combining these two statistics Truth In Reality is promoting the little known fact that in the U.S. a woman is a victim of gender-based violence one to eleven times every 99 seconds.
#99Seconds aims to break the silence on gender-based violence and to directly tie in how domestic violence and sexual violence are normalized through modern entertainment. It not only provides a platform for survivors of domestic and sexual violence to share their stories but also brings awareness to reality television and other forms of mass media that promote domestic violence and sexual coercion as entertainment. Each #99Seconds event ends with a silent candlelight vigil to honor those whose lives have been lost or impacted by domestic and sexual violence.
The inaugural #99Seconds event was held on Monday, February 16, 2015 at the University of Chicago and sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Theta Chapter as part of their Theta Week activities in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Beta Chapter. “The program was an outstanding success,” states Reverend Charles E. Smoot, member of the Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Theta Chapter Alumni Advisor. “Because we were so pleased with how this first program worked, we look forward to the opportunity to bring this program to the other campuses under our charter as we know those students will benefit from the #99Seconds program as well.” Truth In Reality Founder & CEO Sil Lai Abrams added, “It is imperative that people begin to see the correlation between the violent and often racist depictions if women of color on reality television and how this and other forms of violent media imagery is contributing towards the disproportionately high rates of gender-based violence in the Black community by creating a false narrative of Black womanhood that society uses to sanction violence against us.”
In recognition of National Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, all four partner schools participating in Truth In Reality’s Redefining HERstory Campus Social Action Program (Alabama A&M University, Grambling State University, Howard University and Kent State University) will be hosting a #99Seconds event as part of fulfilling the sexual and domestic violence awareness component of the program during February and early March. The Kent State University event takes place on Friday, February 27th at 5:30 pm; Grambling State University’s event is on Tuesday, March 3rd at 6:00 pm, with Howard University and Alabama A&M University’s dates TBD.
For additional information on Truth in Reality’s #99Seconds events visit TruthInReality.org/_99seconds_events.
Contact: Roni Francois
Truth In Reality is a non-profit social advocacy organization pioneering a movement to change the imbalanced media depictions of women of color, especially on violent reality television. Through education, research, public awareness campaigns, social media engagement, strategic partnerships, and public commentary we aim to change society's acceptance of gender-based violence and ultimately reduce its incidence in the Black community.