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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (SAAM). Let’s look at what we all can do to prevent sexual assault as well as create an awareness of the problem.
Trigger Alert: This post has descriptions of violence against women, specifically sexual assault, and may be triggering for survivors.
Sexual assault is a bigger pandemic than COVID, and is a symptom of the rape culture a ‘traditional’, patriarchal society perpetuates directly through abusive behaviour – either through action or speech; and indirectly through things like controlling choices / voices/ sexuality/ bodies of women, and conditioning everyone to think this is normal.
Here are some critical points everyone must be vigilant about to create a safer society for everyone.
Take action before sexual assault happens. Act against stalkers and eve teasers. They aren’t romantic. Don’t believe the popular entertainment that disguises invasion of privacy, harassment and domination as love. Sexual assault should be nipped in the bud.
Talk to teenagers of all genders. Tell them that no matter how desperate they become, they can’t control someone else’s body, whoever that someone is.
Sexual assault is equally wrong when your best friend/gang member/bff/bro/sis/bae (or any cool term) does it. It doesn’t matter who they are to you or how decent you think they are.
Don’t become a part of the problem by cooperating with them and justifying them.
No means no. If they aren’t in a position to say anything freely, it is a no. Consent isn’t for you to understand or assume. It is for them to give. Read that again.
Sexual assault isn’t rape alone. It is unwanted sexual contact. Sometimes, what we brush up saying it is common or normal (casual) could be sexual assault.
Nothing can justify or be an excuse for sexual assault. It was, it is, always avoidable. Onus is on the assaulters to NOT assault. We can’t push the blame on victims or survivors for letting it happen or for not fighting back.
No form of sexual assault is trivial or forgivable. So if you have ever assaulted someone sexually and the world has forgiven you, you are still a criminal.
Survivors don’t owe anyone anything. Their life is still theirs and will remain. Those who’ve been watching everything from a comfortable place can keep their opinions to rest.
You need not wait for a particular month to become aware and spread awareness about sexual assault. It is a bare minimum expectation from a human being.
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Dog momma. Student. Reader. Maybe a writer. In that order.
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Survivors Of Sexual Assault Do NOT Need Your Sympathy Or Shaming, All They Need Is Support!
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