April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I want to share this resource from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault Inc. (www.wcasa.org) because it speaks to this year’s theme of promoting community (and individual) involvement.
DECIDE TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE.
IT’S UP TO EACH OF US
1. Be supportive of a person in your life who has experienced sexual violence by believing her or him and by listening without blaming or judging.
2. Start dialogues with your children, your partners, and your friends about the importance of mutual respect and meaningful consent in healthy sexual relationships.
3. Display a teal ribbon to symbolize your support for survivors and your commitment to ending sexual violence–and to spark conversations!
4. Don’t buy it! Refuse to financially support companies which promote sexual exploitation…such as movies which depict sexualized violence or clothing manufacturers who use sexualized images of children in their advertising. Be sure to tell the companies why you are boycotting them.
5. Talk to someone you know who makes sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise bigoted remarks. Explain why the behavior is not OK.
6. Propose curriculum changes at your/your child’s school to include more time on sexual violence prevention lessons.
7. Write a letter to the editor responding to coverage of sexual assaults in the news.
8. Attend a community vigil, rally, march or other event.
9. Invite an educator to speak to your class, workplace, church or organization about sexual violence (or offer to become a speaker for such groups).
10. Urge your political leaders to take a stand against sexual violence and to increase funding for local rape crisis centers. Support and vote for those who do.
11. Educate yourself about sexual violence. Read books, do research online, and seek out the diverse voices of survivors (victim/survivors come in all ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities, orientations and economic levels).
12. Contact your local rape crisis center. Volunteer your time and skills, and/or consider ways your class, workplace, church or organization can partner with them to raise awareness in your community.