Religious Headwear: Protecting First Amendment Rights in Los Angeles County

HEART’s Programs & Outreach Manager, Sahar Pirzada, recently collaborated on a policy brief published by the Women’s Policy Institute. Highlighting the issue of religious headwear in LA County, this brief asks LA County to allow women to don religious headwear if they choose, thereby aligning with basic First Amendment rights. At HEART, we recognize the intersectionality of issues including Islamophobia, sexual violence, and gender inequality. Injustices must be addressed across the board for real social change to occur. To read the full policy brief, click here.

Removing Roadblocks: Examining Barriers to Justice & Healing to Build more Victim-Centric Services For Muslim Survivors of Sexual Assault

Removing RoadblocksPartnering with the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum (MAWPF), this white paper provides recommendations for institutional responses to sexual assault based on surveys with direct services providers. While much progress has been made in the greater movement, it is clear that there is still work to be done in order to meet the needs of Muslim survivors. Some recommendations based on our findings include: increasing cultural competency, reducing barriers to reporting, and advocating for more community-based research.

Download here: Removing Roadblocks

Let’s Talk about Sex: A Muslim Parent’s Guide to Having “the Talk” with their Kids

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 4.25.15 PMThis guide offers important background information and practical steps for parents who want to have conversations about sex, relationships, and expectations with their kids: either in addition to health education class in school, or in place of it. While we do promote a developmental approach and starting these conversations with children as young as 3, parents of pre-teens and teens may find this guide most helpful and relevant. This guide offers 4 easy steps through the acronym OPEN, which stands for: Openly Communicate, Provide Information, Encourage Questions, and Normalize Puberty & Sex. A must-read for all parents.

Download here: parent guide_sex talk

Talking to Kids about Sexual Violence: A Parent’s Guide for Age-Appropriate Conversations
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This guide offers parent’s information on sexual violence and tools on how to have ongoing conversations on this important topic throughout childhood and adolescent. Written in a FAQ format, you will find the following information in this guide: background information on sexual violence, including definitions and statistics, how to recognize if your child is a victim of sexual violence and tips on how to have these conversations in an age-appropriate manner with each of your children.

Download here: Parent Sexual Assault Talk Guide Resource

Let’s Talk about Sex (Education): A Guide to Effective Programming for Muslim Youth

toolkitIn this first-of-its-kind guide, educators and adult allies can learn what it takes to design a sexual health program for American Muslim young women and find useful steps on how to do so in a way that is accurate and comprehensive while still taking into consideration their cultural and religious context. Based on three years of fieldwork, this toolkit is a product of our pioneering sexual health peer education program for Muslim college women. This comprehensive guide includes information on current research and best practices, suggested components of a sexual health program geared toward Muslim youth, brainstorming worksheets for small group work, and much more!

Download here: HEART_Guide_sexed_programming

Sex Education for Muslim Youth: Starting the Conversation

toolkit2An introductory toolkit, this resource targets anyone interested in starting the conversation about sexual health with Muslim youth in a way that is mindful of the community’s cultural and religious values. Perfect for the individual who may not necessarily work with Muslim youth full-time, but still interacts with them on a regular basis, such as the Sunday School teacher, the youth group leader, or a committed parent. This toolkit raises awareness about why it is important to start speaking with Muslim youth about sexual and reproductive health, and offers some tips and strategies on how to begin those conversations in a way that is true to science but also aligned with the Islamic tradition.

Download here: HEART_Guide_startingconversation
Printer-friendly version: HEART_Guide_conversation_printerfriendly

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 3.18.08 PMEngaging Muslim Communities in Ending Sexual Exploitation: A Toolkit and Resource Guide

A collaborative between the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), HEART, the Rahma Network, and Karamah, this toolkit is for groups within Muslim communities and any other individuals of faith who are passionate about ending sexual exploitation. This toolkit provides background information on issues surrounding prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation and can be used to raise awareness and mobilize your community to join the fight to end sexual exploitation.

Download here: Toolkit: Ending Sexual Exploitation

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5 Things You Can do Today: Working Toward Prevention of Sexual Violence and Creating Safe Spaces

You don’t have to be a sexual violence activist, police officer or social worker to work toward creating safer communities and preventions. Learn what we all can do to create safer communities. Download here: 5 things to create safer communities


Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.59.04 AM5 Things You Can do Today: Supporting Sexual Violence Survivors

According the the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18. There are likely survivors in your immediate circles. You don’t have to be a crisis counselor, activist or police officer to support survivors. Here are five things we all can do to support survivors. Download here: 5 things to support survivors


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Myths about Sexual Assault in the Muslim Communities

What are some common myths and facts about sexual violence in Muslim communities? What are some common tactics from religious tradition that are used to shame and silence survivors?

Download here: Myths HEART Resource Final

The Aziz Ansari Syllabus for South Asian Communities

Download here: Aziz Ansari Aftermath Syllabus

Fact Sheet: A Resource on Sexual Violence

Download here: Fact sheet

What is Sexual Violence? Definitions

Download here: Important Definitions_Sexual Violence

How do we Support Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Resource for Loved Ones

Download here: Supporting Survivors

Understanding Sexual Violence in Faith Communities: A Resource for Professionals Working with Youth

Download here: understanding sexual assault_resource for professionals

Resource: Therapists & Sexual Assault Agencies in the Chicagoland Area

Download here: Therapists and SA agencies_Resources

Resource Map

Talking Points – Responding to Allegations of Sexual Violence in the Muslim Community

Download here: Talking Points

Community Resources

Download here: SV resources_updated


  One Response to “Publications”

  1. […] by using culturally competent resources like those offered by HEART Women and Girls. Our site has fact sheets, toolkits, videos, blog posts, as well as a blog specifically for adolescent girls and their […]