United Somali Women of Maine (USWM)

Sexual Violence informational:

What Is Sexual Violence

There are various forms of sexual violence. The most often cited form of sexual violence, is Rape -- defined in many societies as sexual intercourse with another person without his/ her consent. However, the term sexual and gender-based violence encompasses a wide variety of abuses that includes sexual threats, exploitation, humiliation, assaults, molestation, domestic violence, incest, involuntary prostitution (sexual bartering), torture, insertion of objects into genital openings and attempted rape. Female genital mutilation and other harmful traditional practices (including early marriage, which substantially increases maternal morbidity and mortality) are forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women which cannot be overlooked nor justified on the grounds of tradition, culture or social conformity.


The most effective measures in preventing S/A in the refugee & immigrant population is through community participation in promoting a safe environment for all. This requires Women leaders need to be involved; It requires men leaders to be involved, families and youth. The prevention of Sexual violence should be be established in every community to represent women's interests as well as to help identify and protect those most vulnerable to sexual violence.

Our Services!

The mission of United Somali Women of Maine (USWM) is to promote empowerment and a multi-cultural environment that raises the strength of Somali women and girls by serving as cultural brokers, barrier reducers, skill enhancers, and problem solvers. USWM was founded in 2001 and seeks to promote self-sufficiency for African-speaking families, advance gender understanding and cultural sensitivity among people, and to empower African-speaking families to proactively build strong families and community stability.