Sexual Abuse in Our Community: A Statement From Daya


HOUSTON: In light of recent news both nationally and here in Houston, Daya is taking this critical moment to speak out against the pervasiveness and silence around sexual violence in our community. Perpetrators and victims come from all ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds. Daya is outraged over these incidents, we offer our support to all who are or have been victims of sexual predators, and we reaffirm our mission to end domestic and sexual violence in the Houston community. Sexual assault is any type of sexual behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. This not only includes sex but also touching, grabbing, attempts at sex and lewd remarks and gestures. The abuser may be a family member, a co-worker or a community member who, in most cases, is seen as a person of authority. Like in domestic violence, maintaining power and control over the victim is at the center of sexual assault.

In cases involving children under the age of 18, consent is not possible and, therefore, any sexual act between an adult and a minor is, without a doubt, considered sexual assault.

Sexual abuse and assault thrive on secrecy and silence. Societal stigma and victim blaming silence victims and drive them to keep their experience a secret. Instead of blaming and shaming the victims, we must hold abusers accountable, regardless of their position in the community, their fame, or their wealth. The blame for sexual assault should solely lie on the perpetrator.

As reports of powerful individuals abusing others flood our newsfeeds, we want to channel our outrage into awareness and action. Daya stands with the brave survivors who are sharing their stories within their families, in courtrooms, and on social media. We also stand with the countless survivors who have been silenced but are yet to come forward.  

Every day we work with survivors by providing support and advocacy to help them find justice and peace in their lives. We speak openly in the community about sexual assault, knowing that spreading awareness will equip our community to support survivors, hold abusers accountable, and one day prevent these horrendous acts from happening.

We ask you to join us in taking a stand against sexual assault against women and men and especially against children and teenagers in our community. Together, we can empower families break the silence and secrecy surrounding sexual abuse and help stop the generational cycle of abuse.

If you or anyone you know needs resources or support, call our confidential helpline at 713-981-7645 or visit us at

Now in its twentieth year, Daya empowers south Asian women, their children and families who are trying to break the cycle of domestic and sexual violence and reclaim their lives. Daya empowers these women by offering counseling and advocacy, promoting community awareness and by advocating at the policy level. Daya’s approach fosters individual freedom and respect leading to healthy families.  

For further details contact Rachna Khare, Executive Director  (713) 842-72223 /