Traditionally sexual assault prevention has been in the form of teaching women to protect themselves by not drinking too much, not going out alone, etc. (see our previous post for more tips to prevent becoming a victim). While there is nothing wrong with empowering women with the tools to think smarter and be more aware, this line of thinking puts the responsibility of assault on the victim. We are essentially victim blaming before they even become victims. The responsibility and blame lay solely on the perpetrators. But, since we cannot control what others do, we need to focus on what we can do. What we all can do. Each one of us has a responsibility to each other and to our community as a whole.
In 2014, the national movement, It’s On Us, was launched to bring awareness and get people engaging in the conversation about how to end sexual assault. The It’s On Us movement brings to light that it is everyone’s responsibility to prevent and end sexual violence and help define what rape is.
Sexual assault does not happen in a vacuum, meaning there are warning signs. Additionally, when a sexual assault does occur, the responsibility to respond and react falls on several people — friends, family, community members, community leaders, companies, law enforcement, the US justice system. When any of these people fail to act, it allows violence to continue to be perpetrated. It is on us to put a stop to victim blaming, socially normalizing violence, and failing to follow through with consequences.
Rape is any non-consensual sex. Traditionally, the absence of a “no” or the inability to protest due to intoxication has been accepted as a silent “yes.” We hear all the time “she was asking for it,” “they both seemed into it,” and “boys will be boys.” These are heinous excuses. Join us today as we discuss a few ways you can help end sexual violence.
Talk about it.Start the discussion, help bring awareness to what sexual violence is. Perhaps someone who hears what you say had never thought about such things before. And, perhaps someone who hears you has either unknowingly perpetrated violence or been the victim of it — does drunken college hook-ups sound too familiar? And, maybe someone who hears you has been holding onto a secret because they felt alone like no one would believe them and will now know that they do have someone they can trust.
Intervene.In our last post, we discussed bystander intervention and how you can help prevent sexual violence. If you see something, say something. Don’t assume anyone else will or that everything is okay. You’ll feel better about needlessly stepping in where you aren’t needed than to find out later that you should have.
No means no. And, for those who do not understand that or refuse to accept no, you can put some force behind your words with a personal protection weapon such as pepper spray or a stun gun. Defend yourself from the possibility or sexual assault, or intervene to help protect a community member from violence.
At Code Black Security, we know that it is on all of us to help put an end to sexual assault. We want to help prevent everyone from becoming a victim by providing high-quality self-defense weapons for women. Our personal protection devices are designed to be easy to carry and use to help provide confidence and empowerment for the women who carry them. Shop our entire line of non-lethal weapons online today.