Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Still Not "Asking For It"

This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I find myself asking "What can I do to help?" This year I'm trying to make a bigger attempt to raise awareness and educate others and myself. I do have a platform and a voice - Instagram, Facebook, this blog. Why not use those tools to my advantage?

Something that is a huge problems with these crimes is victim blaming. People are taught to protect themselves and avoid "dangerous" situations. We act as if this is something we can avoid happening to someone because they dress conservatively, don't drink, and never travel alone. No one is ever "asking for it" or deserves to be assaulted, stalked, or raped. We need to stop victim blaming. This does not and will not help us achieve our goal of stopping violence.

There's a few assumptions that people generally seem to make when an assault happens. There's a few questions that seem to come up that insinuate that the assault would some how be preventable by the survivor.
  • Was (s)he drinking?
 Answer - Irrelevant. No matter what decisions a person makes about alcohol/drugs, that does not mean they're sending an invitation to be attacked. Just because you could doesn't mean you should.
  • What was (s)he wearing?
Answer - Irrelevant. Wearing a tank top/red lipstick/booty shorts does not equal consent. A person dressing "provocatively" is not an outward invitation to be sexualized.
  • Did (s)he lead the attacker on?
Answer - You guessed it. Irrelevant, but also - what the hell does that even mean? You can change your mind AT ANY TIME. You can always say no and that should always be respected. You can be assaulted by a significant other. If you say no and they go ahead, it's not consent just because you're dating, married, or have done it before. Sexting is not an invitation to be attacked. Flirting is not an invitation. Dancing is not an invitation. There is no such thing as "I couldn't help myself." You, as beautiful and overwhelming as you are, are not irresistible.

People are violated and assaulted every day no matter where they are, what they're wearing, or how much they've been drinking. We need to change our education from teaching risk-reduction to consent. We need to place the responsibility back on potential rapists. By teaching everyone at a young age about respecting bodies and consent (rather than teaching people to walk with their keys clenched in their hands), we aim to stop perpetrators from ever perpetrating.

Until Next Time,
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  1. This is so spot on. I was yelling YEAH at each "irrelevant."

    Found you through Insert Classy Here.

    1. So glad to meet you! I'm glad I got you yelling at the screen for a good reason! haha