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Tanya Selvaratnam

Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Long Beach, CA, Tanya Selvaratnam is an award -winning activist, writer and producer. When Tanya met her then partner, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, they fell quickly and effortlessly in love—fueling each other’s growing ambitions. But their power dynamic soon took a dark turn. Knowing she was in an abusive relationship, Tanya considered avenues for protection, but her abuser was the top law enforcement officer in the state. She feared he would be tipped off, and that he would crush her. In May 2018, she bravely spoke out to The New Yorker about her abuse. Three hours after her story was published, Schneiderman resigned from his office. Tanya’s new book, Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence tells her story.

A writer and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer, Tanya has authored, The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock and her essays have been published in The New York TimesVogueCNN, and Glamour, among others. Her films have played on HBO, IFC, and PBS; and have premiered at the Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, and SXSW festivals. Tanya has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and NBC News. She has been a guest commentator on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, and CBS Radio News and has collaborated with Glamour Women of the Year, Planned Parenthood, and The Vision & Justice Project at her Alma Mater, Harvard University.


An advocate for justice, Tanya is a co-founder of The Federation: a coalition that unites communities through the arts, and a board member of For Freedoms, an organization that catalyzes civic discourse through the arts. Tanya has participated on panels and conferences around the world, including various United Nations and World Health Organization events, Aspen Ideas Festival, Skoll World Forum, and Sundance Film Festival. She has spoken on a variety of subjects, including the rights and safety of women and children, and the interplay of art and democracy. 

Assume Nothing: A Memoir of Intimate Violence is an urgent, timely examination of a frightening subgroup of abuse of power. It tells Selvaratnam’s incredible story, while offering tools and solutions for the public health crisis of domestic violence.