April 23rd, 2010

asleep at mal 9/09

Rapeculture

Lately (this month in particular), I've been tweeting a ton of links with the tag #rapeculture. There are a lot of reasons for that, but one is that it's Sexual Assault Awareness Month here in the US.

Everyone everywhere is to some degree affected by rape, whether you know it or not. If you're a woman in the US statistics show there's a one in six chance that you have been or will be raped in your lifetime; usually by someone you know as at least a passing acquaintance. If you're not part of that one in six, you may be a male or trans or intersex survivor. And even if you've never been sexually assaulted you know someone who's been raped or committed rape whether or not you are aware of that fact. I want you to take a minute to think about that, to think about every person in your life and to consider what impact that has on their actions, their behaviors, their emotional state in day-to-day life.

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I know there's a lot of things to think about here; I'd love your feedback, your thoughts on ways people can help. However, rape apology, comments about false rape accusations (yes, they happen but they're incredibly rare and irrelevant to this discussion), and other such nonsense will not be tolerated in this thread.

And I'll end with a suggestion that if you're giving money to a charity this year, think about donating to your local Rape Crisis Center or RAINN. Or go attend a class, sign up for a walk-a-thon, volunteer. These groups help thousands of survivors get through horrible situations, they work with police and hospitals to make sure rape kits are handled properly, they provide support for partners and family members, they do outreach in the community and schools; and in this ongoing budget crisis they often have to do so with less money and higher numbers of people who need assistance.