Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month Resources
We know that this is a difficult time for most people, and that sexual assault awareness may not be at the top of your mind. For those that do wish to participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we are posting content that allows you to do so -- while maintaining social distance.
This weekend (April 18), we were scheduled to host our signature event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled -- but you can still participate, in a slightly different way!
A key feature of our Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event is the Pledge to End Gender-Based Violence. This weekend, we are asking you to think about these pledge points as you walk, run, jog, or simply do things around your house.
I WILL WORK TO END GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND PLEDGE TO:
1. Not use violence of any form in my relationships, and speak up if another man is disrespectful or abusive to women or girls.
2. Listen to women and be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender-based violence.
3. Educate myself on the factors that lead to gender violence, and use that knowledge to mentor and teach boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women.
4. Acknowledge the factors that lead to gender-based violence, including power imbalances, homophobia and objectification of women.
5. Not remain silent.
Last week, we asked you to think about how sexual assault is portrayed in pop culture. This week, we want to change the focus to healthy relationships. Pop culture influences many aspects of our lives, including our romantic relationships.
We know that many relationships featured in books, on TV and in movies are toxic. For example, in the 50 Shades of Grey series, Anastasia and Christian's relationship is portrayed as true love. Yet Christian stalks Anastasia, controls every aspect of her life (down to what she eats), is possessive and jealous, and isolates her from her family and friends. Can you think of a healthy pop culture relationship?
Think about or write down answers to the following questions:
1. What are the healthy relationships you see in pop culture or portrayed in the media?
2. What aspects of those relationships make them healthy?
Many of us are binging shows and consuming other forms of pop culture as a way to keep busy or simply to distract ourselves during this time. Television shows, movies, and books are notorious for using sexual assault as a plot point -- in both good ways and bad.
For example, in the show Veronica Mars, rape is a driving force behind the main character's actions. But it doesn't define who she is -- a fact that survivors may find inspiring. Episodes to watch include Season 1, Episode 21 (Veronica confronting the person who she believes raped her), as well as Season 2, Episode 22. In addition, throughout Season 3, Veronica searches for a serial rapist on her college campus.
How do the movies or shows that you are watching (or the books that you are reading) handle sexual assault?