Story Behind the Pride
My name is Jodi Lasky, and I’m founder and CEO of the Pride. I often get asked – usually with trepidation in the person’s voice – how I came up with the idea for The Pride, and why I started it. There’s an assumption that I started it because I’ve been raped, or had someone close to me who was, or something.
Here’s a few realities: most women I know have been assaulted, if not raped.
The idea came to me when I was working on a totally different project, simply because I needed the hardware that has become the Nala. I was busy, and put it to the side, and didn’t think about it again for almost two years.
Two years when too many women were put into #MeToo situations they couldn’t get out of. Two years of women trying to politely end conversations, or get the eye of a stranger and ask them for help. Two long years.
And then two women were abducted off of a running trail near where I live. Two nights in a row. And my first thought was: why does this system STILL not exist?!?!
I still didn’t jump into it whole heartedly. I took time. I did research. I looked to see who was doing what in the field. I came up with a slightly different plan.
And then it happened. After many years of working in industries where sexual assault is not necessarily unexpected, of traveling alone for work and for play, of taking a lot of chances, I was sexually assaulted. In a place I should have been safe: a shop I frequented, during the middle of the day, with people watching, and no one interceding.
And that’s the day I knew what The Pride needed to be: a way for women to get the help they need, whether from friends and family or from a vetted ally, when and where they need it.
A few months later, the #MeToo movement started. And we join that movement to say: no more.