About Ya Basta Center

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Our Mission and Vision

Ya Basta! is dedicated to transforming the janitorial industry by promoting worker/survivor solutions for the prevention of sexual violence and harassment in the industry. Ya Basta! believes that all employees in the cleaning industry have the right to work in a safe environment and without fear of sexual violence and/or harassment.

The Ya Basta! Center’s workplace sexual violence and harassment prevention training places survivors of sexual violence in trainer/instructor positions to change industry conditions and become resources to their peers to take action against sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Janitor Survivor Empowerment Act, AB 547, approved by Governor Newsom in 2019, states that janitors trained by the Ya Basta! Center are the only qualified instructors to carry out these trainings. Using peers to conduct sexual violence and harassment training in the workplace promotes the mental, emotional, and physical skills that empower workers and help survivors heal.

In California, there are more than 100,000 janitors who work the night shift every night, and this training will ensure they have the tools to protect themselves.

Protest in Sacramento
Close Up
Civil Disobedience

Background on legislation mandates

AB 1978 and AB 547 are mandatory laws for janitorial companies

The Property Service Workers Protection Act – AB 1978 requires:

The Janitors Survivor Empowerment – AB 547 requires janitorial contractors in California to provide peer-to-peer education in sexual harassment and assault at work:

Our Story

Ya Basta! History Timeline and Links to More Extensive Information

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Immigrant women janitors break their silence on sexual assault and say, "¡YA BASTA!"
SEIU Civil Disobedience

For years, the janitorial industry in California was plagued by a toxic culture of sexual violence and harassment. Immigrant women janitors broke their silence and said, “¡YA BASTA!

In 2015, their fight was captured in the PBS Frontline documentary Rape on the Night Shift and Univision special series Violación de un Sueño: Jornada Nocturna. The documentaries show how managers and supervisors use their power and the fact that the janitors work alone at night to physically harass them while their employers turn a blind eye.

The original release of the documentary jump-started the janitors union, SEIU United Service Workers West, to take action to change the industry. Janitors who were survivors of sexual assault led the campaign that passed AB 1978 and AB547. Rape on the Night Shift was updated to include their story.

There are between 5,000 and 17,000 sexual assaults in the workplace in California each year.

UC Berkley Report Released

In 2016, a report from UC Berkeley detailed the industry conditions that expose women to abuse: “Perfect Storm: How Supervisors Get Away with Sexually Harassing Workers Who Work Alone at Night.”

Asm. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher introduces AB 1978, The Property Service Workers Protection Act, to stop sexual violence and harassment in the cleaning industry
Beverly Hills March
  • Statewide Rallies: Los Angeles - San Francisco-Berkeley – Sacramento
  • 2016 State Capitol 5 day Hunger Strike:
    In 2016, Assemblywoman Lorena González introduced AB 1978, the Property Service Workers Protection Act, to stop sexual violence and harassment in the cleaning industry, activating California’s janitor’s union and individual workers to combat on-the-job sexual violence in an unprecedented way. The workforce of mostly immigrant women who commonly work alone, at night, with male supervisors, were determined to change the conditions they face on the job. Public awareness, union outreach, and statewide protests organized by survivors helped the movement gain support.
Janitors rallied, and their voices began to transform the industry across California

Immigrant women like Veronica broke their silence. They fasted for a week to ensure that then-governor Brown signed AB1978 into law requiring mandatory sexual harassment training.

The Property Service Workers Protection Act was passed into law, requiring all janitorial service companies to provide employers and employees with in-person sexual harassment prevention training

The goal of AB 1978 is to facilitate the tracking and investigation of low-road janitorial contractors who regularly violate California labor law. All janitorial service providers are required by law to register with the state.

The Ya Basta Promotora Program takes the lead to change the conditions in the janitorial industry and becomes a resource for peer-to-peer training to prevent sexual violence and harassment in the workplace
Promotora Program with ELAWC

For the implementation of the AB 1978 legislation, it became evident that collaborating with groups that had a track record of success in these areas would be crucial to setting in place an effective industry-wide response to sexual harassment in the workplace and should involve surviving workers taking the lead in changing the industry. The Ya Basta! Promotora program for janitors was initially hosted by the East Los Angeles Women’s Center in partnership with MCTF and the janitors union, SEIU-SWW. This program positioned survivors of sexual harassment in the workplace to take leadership to change industry conditions, become resources for their peers, and create protections against sexual harassment on the job. Building on the Ya Basta! Promotora program, SEIU-USWW developed a “Compadre” Training Program for men seeking to become allies in the fight against workplace sexual violence and harassment. The Compadre program has the same basic training modules as the Promotora program, but it also has more information on how to understand and break down toxic masculinity.

“Ya Basta” enough is enough

The Self Defense Training to Prevent sexual assault is implemented. Female janitors are fighting back against sexual violence in the workplace, a common occurrence for those working the night shift.

Janitors who survived a rape embarked on the #100WomenWalk from San Francisco to Sacramento to deliver a copy of Assembly Bill AB2079 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) to Governor’s Brown urging him to sign it.

Determined to change the conditions they face on the job and to grab the public attention one hundred janitors many of whom have survived rape and sexual harassment in the workplace shared a 100-mile walking journey from San Francisco to Sacramento to deliver a copy of Assembly Bill 2079 to Governor Brown and urge him to sign it. The 100-mile journey concluded with union members and supporters participating in an emotional civil disobedience at the Capitol steps.

On September 10, Governor Brown vetoed the proposed legislation, arguing that the Labor Commissioner was in the early stages of processing and promulgating regulations to build the sexual harassment and violence prevention training program required by AB 1978.

Hollywood Fringe Theater Play: "Ya Basta Time's Been Up"

Reluctant to stop fighting and to put the #MeToo movement for immigrant women into action, in 2019, the janitors of SEIU United Service Workers West who clean high-rise office buildings in downtown Los Angeles, premiered a play at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, one of the largest uncensored arts festivals in the United States.

The play "Ya Basta Time's Been Up" directed by Jannette Godoy, brought to light the movement led by immigrant women to protect themselves from sexual harassment and stop being invisible in the workplace. Written and performed by janitors, Ya Basta is the only performance at that year's Hollywood Fringe Festival that originated from the voices and stories of immigrant women.

Shero-Janitors Week of Action to highlight AB547

September 10, 2019: With the chance to transform the janitorial industry and free it of sexual violence and harassment through Ya Basta's peer-to-peer training program, hundreds of supporters held the “Shero-Janitors Week of Action" in Sacramento to pass AB 547, a ground-breaking #metoo legislation that requires that all janitors in California receive sexual violence prevention training from fellow janitors that have been certified as trainers and counselors.

Janitor Survivor Empowerment Act AB 547 approved by Gov Newsom

October 10, 2019: The Janitor Survivor Empowerment Act AB 547 (Gonzalez) is approved by Governor Newsom. It states that all janitors must receive training against sexual violence and harassment and that the training must be provided by janitors trained at the Ya Basta Center (or other qualified organizations). The trainings are aimed at helping survivors heal and promoting mental, emotional, and physical skills that empower these workers. It was critical for this bill to pass in order to end the toxic masculinity that has plagued the janitorial industry.
There are over 100,000 women who go to work on the night shift every night in California; this bill is going to ensure that they have the tools to protect themselves. The signing of this bill shows how immigrant women have and will continue to pave the way for the future of worker power by leading with gender justice.

Promotoras celebrated their certification as trainers in coordination with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault Graduation in Sacramento

The same year, more than one-hundred Promotoras celebrated their certification as trainers in coordination with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The graduation ceremony was presided over by California First Partner Jennifer Seibel Newsom and several state legislators including Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. Now the peer educators are beginning to provide peer training through the recently opened Ya Basta Center

"Sweeping Change" Study

Released on March 16th, 2020 in New York. The report is the product of a partnership between researchers at The Worker Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) and staff and worker-leaders from SEIU at the Service Employees International Union—United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW).


Online training classes for instructors and in-person practices.

Ya Basta Center Instructors Graduation Dec 2022

With the passage of AB 547 legislation that requires all California janitors to receive sexual violence prevention training from other certified janitor instructors. By the end of 2022, the first 40 instructors from the Ya Basta Center graduated, who will be teaching courses on the prevention of violence and sexual assault at work in the cleaning industry in 2023.

The Ya Basta Prevention Program in the cleaning industry is breaking new ground by applying this model to address sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. By also connecting survivors of sexual violence with health care services and resources, the program is helping to ensure they receive the care and support they need to heal and move forward. Educating people about the warning signs of abuse, the importance of healthy relationships, and the resources available, the program is helping to prevent violence from happening in the first place. Sexual assault prevention programs like this one are essential to creating a safer and more equitable society for all.

On Denim Day April 26, ValorUS® and the Ya Basta instructors traveled to the Capitol in Sacramento to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness month

Wearing blue jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against sexual violence around the world, and the rally organized by ValorUS at the Capitol is one of the most visible Denim Day events in California.