April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the theme is "Prevent Sexual Violence … in our communities." RH Reality Check is proud to participate in Blog Against Sexual Violence Day to raise awareness of sexual violence.
Related news and information roundup after the jump.
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- Someone in the U.S. is assaulted every two and a half minutes.
- "One in six American women are victims of sexual assault, and one in 33 men."
- More than half of sexual assaults are not reported.
- 73% of rapes are by a non-stranger (i.e. a friend, acquaintance, partner, or family member).
- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):
- RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline (U.S.): 1.800.656.HOPE
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), sponsor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- 911rape.org has information on drugs that are used to facilitate sexual assault
- Feminist Majority Foundation's Sexual Assault Resources
10 Community Actions to Prevent Sexual Violence in Our Communities (from NSVRC):
- Local media designates a week to focus on positive images and stories of girls and women, relationships, and healthy sexuality. During this week, community leaders honor local heroes who are positive role models.
- Educators teach non-violent conflict-resolution skills and promote anti-bullying values that demonstrate respect for everyone.
- Coaches and fans emphasize skill-development, team work, character and sportsmanship over competition. Players are motivated with praise. Sponsor gender violence prevention training for youth athletic teams.
- Community Centers provide forums for inter-generational discussions and activities about pop culture and technology. Activities can include helping older people to learn more about newer technologies, and helping younger people learn to notice and critically evaluate underlying themes and messages in games, movies, music and ads.
- Health Care Providers talk with patients about normal human development and healthy, consensual
- Faith and Spiritual Community members sponsor activities that demonstrate appreciation for diversity, such as hosting educational activities around various holidays, and inviting people to share favorite recipes and talk about their family traditions that build respect.
- Young People value the uniqueness of each person; find positive friends; reach out to at-risk peers; develop leadership skills; and speak out about ways to show respect.
- Artists and Businesses work together to create/display murals, posters, kites, or variations on the" cow parade" phenomenon illustrating healthy relationships.
- Employers promote violence-free workplaces; establish and enforce sexual harassment and antibullying policies; contribute resources to programs that are working to make a difference.
- "Wear a Pin; Share a Pin." Groups encourage members to wear a teal ribbon awareness pin. Make them available to give away with information on what to say when someone asks about the teal pin.
- Date in jail for drugging beer
- Rape victim jailed and denied emergency contraception
- Carnival Against Sexual Violence has much more—check out the various personal stories and blog posts
Here's my final topic in honor of Blog Against Sexual Violence Day: violence in the blogosphere. Personal attacks (i.e. threats, intimidation, harassment, etc.) on bloggers are not ok and not "free speech." If someone does not like what a blogger says, there are acceptable reactions: a) don't read their blog; or b) post a comment criticizing the content of their post (not criticizing the blogger's physical attributes or their character, not posting personal private data, and not threatening them and/or their family). Bloggers who are women receive much more hate mail (and the hate mail is often creepy and sexually explicit) than bloggers who are men—even women who are just blogging about uncontroversial subjects (like technology), to say nothing of outspoken feminists or reproductive health advocates. Sadly, sexism is alive and well in new media. But we will not be silent and we will not tolerate sexual violence (even online).
Leave comments to share how you are celebrating Sexual Assault Awareness Month.