16 ways you can stand against rape culture

//16 ways you can stand against rape culture

16 ways you can stand against rape culture

Rape culture is the social environment that allows sexual violence to be normalized and justified, fueled by the persistent gender inequalities and attitudes about gender and sexuality. Naming it is the first step to dismantling rape culture.

We can all take action to stand against rape culture. So for these 16 days of activism to end violence against women; Here are 16 ways you can do your part:

1. Create a culture of enthusiastic consent.

Freely given consent is mandatory, every time. Rather than listening for a “no,” make sure there is an active, “yes,” from all involved. Adopt enthusiastic consent in your life and talk about it.

2. Speak out against the root causes.

When discussing cases of sexual violence, a victim’s sobriety, clothes, and sexuality are irrelevant. Instead, counter the idea that men and boys must obtain power through violence and question the notion of sex as an entitlement. It is also underpinned by victim-blaming—an attitude that suggests a victim rather than the perpetrator bears responsibility for an assault.

3. Redefine masculinity.

Take a critical look at what masculinity means to you and how you embody it. Self-reflection, community conversations, and artistic expression are just some of the tools available for men and boys (as well as women and girls) to examine and redefine masculinities with feminist principles.

4. Stop victim-blaming.

You have the power to choose to leave behind language and lyrics that blame victims, objectify women and excuse sexual harassment. What a woman is wearing, what and how much she had to drink, and where she was at a certain time, is not an invitation to rape her.

 

5. Have zero tolerance.

Establish policies of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and violence in the spaces in which you live, work, and play. Leaders must be particularly clear that they are committed to upholding a zero-tolerance policy and that it must be practised every day.

6. Broaden your understanding of rape culture.

While no one may disagree that rape is wrong, through words, actions and inaction, sexual violence and sexual harassment is normalized and trivialized, including harmful practices that rob women and girls of their autonomy and rights such as child marriage, female genital mutilation all inevitably lead us down a slippery slope of rape culture.

7. Take an inter-sectional approach.

Rape culture affects us all, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, economic status, race, religion or age. Rooting it out means leaving behind restrictive definitions that limit a person’s right to define and express themselves. During humanitarian crisis, prevalent discrimination against women and girls often exacerbates sexual violence.

8. Know the history of rape culture.

Rape has been used as a weapon of war and oppression throughout history. It has been used to degrade women and their communities and for ethnic cleansing and genocide. You can start by learning about the use of sexual violence during past and recent conflicts, such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Guatemalan Civil War and the Kosovo conflict.

9. Invest in women.

Donate to organizations that empower women, amplify their voices, support survivors, and promote acceptance of all gender identities and sexualities. MWAN works to prevent violence against women and connect victims to the various multi-disciplinary support they require. Donate now www.mwanrivers.org

10. Listen to survivors.

Listen to their experiences, read stories of survivors and activists around the globe, and follow #OrangeTheWorld and #GenerationEquality on social media. Don’t say, “Why didn’t she leave?” Do say: “We hear you. We see you. We believe you.”

11. Don’t laugh at rape.

Rape is never a funny punchline. Rape jokes delegitimize sexual violence, making it harder for victims to speak up when their consent is violated. Humour that normalizes and justifies sexual violence is not acceptable. Call it out.

12. Get involved.

Rape culture is held up by the absence or lack of enforcement of laws addressing violence against women and discriminatory laws on property ownership, marriage, divorce and child custody. Engage with your representatives to ensure implementation of laws that promote gender equality.

 

13. End impunity.

To end rape culture, perpetrators must be held accountable. By prosecuting sexual violence cases, we recognize these acts as crimes and send a strong message of zero-tolerance. Wherever you see push-back against legal consequences for perpetrators, fight for justice and accountability.

14. Be an active bystander.

One in three women worldwide experience abuse. Violence against women is shockingly common, and we may become witness to non-consensual or violent behaviour. Intervening as an active bystander signals to the perpetrator that their behaviour is unacceptable and may help someone stay safe. First, assess the situation to determine what kind of help, if any, might be appropriate. You may be able to support the target of sexual harassment by asking how they are or if they would like help, or by documenting the incident, creating distractions to diffuse the situation, or making a short and clear statement directly to the perpetrator such as, “‘I’m uncomfortable with what you are doing.”

15. Educate the next generation.

It’s in our hands to inspire the future leaders of the world. Challenge the gender stereotypes and violent ideals that children encounter in the media, on the streets, and at school. Let your children know that your family is a safe space for them to express themselves as they are. Affirm their choices and teach the importance of consent at a young age.

16. Start—or join—the conversation.

Talk to family and friends about how you can work together to end rape culture in your communities. Whether it’s hosting a awareness programme, fundraising for a women’s rights organization, or joining forces to protest rape-affirming decisions and policies, it will take all of us to stand united against rape culture.

You can join the conversation online right now by following #Orangetheworld and #GenerationEquality.

Source:  Medium.com/@UN_Women

 

 

 

 

By | 2019-11-26T10:31:14+00:00 November 26th, 2019|Uncategorized|3 Comments

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3 Comments

  1. Vivian Ogbonna November 26, 2019 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Way to go. We must continue to speak until someone hears, until someone who’s in a position to act and implement solutions hears and act and until we all join hands to end violence against women and girls in all its form.
    #Orange the world.
    Yes we can..

  2. Cecilia Leloonu Nwibubasa November 26, 2019 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Well articulated

  3. Kaine November 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Well Said Omo. Let’s stand up against rape culture.

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