Tips and Info on Safety Planning
On July 31st, Start Strong teens from all 11 sites will come together to promote healthy relationships during an innovative online event, “Start Strong Teens Talk Dating: A Virtual Conference,” and anyone can join the conversation in real time by following the hashtag #TeensTalkDating on Twitter.
Using live video feeds, message boards, Twitter and Tumblr, this interactive one-day event will empower students across the nation to explore what it means to be in a healthy relationship and reframe what is acceptable and what is not.
The conference will also train teens to be UPSTANDERS, or individuals who stand up to unhealthy or abusive dating behaviors, in their own relationships and in their communities.
Sign on to Twitter on July 31st to hear what the Start Strong teens are saying and join the conversation. Experts from Start Strong sites will be online as well, answering questions and facilitating this national teen-led dialogue.
For more information and for regular updates, check out Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships on Twitter (@StartStrong).
What: Start Strong Teens Talk Dating: A Virtual Conference
When: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
8:00 am – 2:20 pm PT
9:00 am – 3:30 pm MT
10:00 am – 4:30 pm CT
11:00 am – 5:30 pm ET
Where:Start Strong sites nationwide (located in Boston, New York City, Bridgeport, Rhode Island, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Oakland, Idaho, Indianapolis, Wichita and Austin)
Twitter Details: Use hashtag #TeensTalkDating to join the conversation and follow @StartStrong for real time updates
Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self
On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered.At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this book examines the undoing and remaking of a self in the aftermath of violence. It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, memory and truth, identity and self, autonomy and community. It offers imaginative access to the experience of a rape survivor as well as a reflective critique of a society in which women routinely fear and suffer sexual violence.As Brison observes, trauma disrupts memory, severs past from present, and incapacitates the ability to envision a future. Yet the act of bearing witness, she argues, facilitates recovery by integrating the experience into the survivor’s life’s story. She also argues for the importance, as well as the hazards, of using first-person narratives in understanding not only trauma, but also larger philosophical questions about what we can know and how we should live.Bravely and beautifully written, Aftermath is that rare book that is an illustration of its own arguments. Aftёrmаth: Ví0lеnсе and thё Rёmаkìng of а Self
I just queued up over 20 posts about consent. They all begin “consent is…” and give a relatable situation where consent is properly and healthily negotiated. I think this is incredibly important because we need to start noticing the roles consent and negotiation play in our every day lives while we practice giving and receiving consent in intimate situations. Consent happens every day in big and small ways… but in some situations it can be the difference between sex and rape. Let’s turn this rape culture into a respectful, sex-positive, consent-loving culture.
If y’all have any of your own please, please submit them!
There will also be a link on my blog to all the “consent is…” posts!
Sexual assault on college campuses is a real problem. As many as a quarter of women in US colleges will experience sexual assault or attempted sexual assault during her time in school. Nearly 90% of those women know their attacker. And despite pervasive myths about “date rape” being a simple misunderstanding between two good kids, the reality is that most rapes on campus are committed by a small handful of predatory male rapists.
Yet women on college campuses are still treated to rape-prevention advice like “don’t walk alone at night!”, “always carry cab fare!”, “don’t wear anything too provocative!” and “don’t drink too much!”
—How to tackle sexual assault on campuses – without the lectures | Jill Filipovic | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
That advice isn’t working. It centres on stranger-danger and ignores the reality that the real problem is a small number of student criminals who commit assaults but are routinely protected – by friends on campus, by social myths about rape that shift the blame to women or emphasise “miscommunication”, and sometimes by the college itself.
[Trigger warning: abuse, sexual abuse, mention of rape.]
There’s many aspects of relationships, both good and bad. Obviously, we lean towards having relationships where the ratio of good to bad favors the good side over the bad. Sometimes, however, that doesn’t always happen, and people can end up in abusive, controlling and manipulative. One of the ways people can cause relationships to become any one of these is to use sex as a means of abuse, control, or manipulation.
These kinds of relationships are sometimes hard to spot, even if you’re the one in the relationship. We often let certain things our partners do slide, simply because they’re our partners, and we don’t even realize it until it affects us consciously. The first thing in breaking a sexually controlling, abusive, or manipulative relationship is to recognize that you’re in one. (Please note that this is for people of ALL gender identities, not just those who identify as male/female.)
- Does your partner often ask you to do things sexually multiple times, even though you’ve stated you don’t want to, and doesn’t stop until you do them?
- Do you often have sex or do things sexually with your partner out of guilt (say, if you’re not “in the mood,” but they are, and you do it to please them without truly wanting to or consenting)?
- Do you often lie to your partner about being satisfied or wanting to engage sexually because you are afraid that they will get angry with you?
- Does your partner often get angry with you when don’t want to do sexual things to the point where you’re afraid or threatened?
- Has your partner ever guilted you into having sex with them for something they think you did wrong?
- Do you feel like you have to have to sex with your partner in order to keep your relationship?
- Does your partner say things like “you don’t love me if you do this” or “if you don’t do this I’ll___?”
- Are you often anxious or afraid when your partner makes sexual advances?
Of course, these questions are not the only ones to ask yourself and review, but anything similar is something to consider. A yes to even one may indicate that you’re in a sexually abusive relationship, and addressing that is the first step.
The next is to proceed with what you’re going to do about it, and how safe you are doing so.
If you’re in a relationship where your partner is violent, uses violence during sex, or is continuously threatening violence or shows excessive anger, approaching the person directly may not be safe for you (and even if it is not, if you feel like you would be in danger in any way, do not approach the person directly.) If you can talk to a friend, a family member, co-worker, anyone who can help, please do so. There are many hotlines out there for people who are experiencing abusive relationships and who need help getting out.
If the relationship you’re in is NOT a physically violent one (and I would consider spousal or partner rape violent, so the above guide will pertain to those situations) and you feel safe with approaching the person about how they’ve been handling your relationship, then do so. It can be hard, rough, and emotional, but nobody deserves to be in an sexually abusive abusive relationship, even if the abuser doesn’t realize they’re being abusive.
The biggest deterrent you will probably face in getting yourself out of an abusive relationship, or changing your abusive relationship into a non-abusive one, is people close to you telling you to “just let things work themselves out” or your partner trying to convince you there’s no problem or filling you with false promises of change while keeping the behavior the same. It can be hard to get yourself out of your situation when so many people are telling you to “roll with the tide” or that you’re overrating, or when you’re partner is using your emotions to keep you where you are. You always have to remember that, no matter what, YOUR feelings matter, and if you’re in a place where you are being harmed, controlled, or manipulated, it is your express RIGHT to not be subjected to such treatment.
As always, feedback is wonderful.
It’s power. Catcalls, sexist comments, public masturbation, groping, stalking and assault: gender-based street harassment makes public places unfriendly, frightening and dangerous for many girls, women, and LGBQT people.
It’s power to control public spaces. Power to alter paths. Power to shame, scare and intimidate. Power to define what is safe and what is not. It’s the power to say: “I’m entitled to touch you, comment on your body, coerce you to smile, control your movement.” Even when women perceive catcalls as flattering, they are nonetheless aware that it’s an unpredictable degree away from possible harm.” —International Anti-Street Harassment Week: 10 Things You Can Do To Stop Street Harassment (via deaddogdied)
Again, this was the first column I wrote. I will say it again and again: length of relationship does not cancel out consent.
TW: on all links for discussion of rape, rape jokes
- So a rape joke walks into a bar…, by s.e. smith.
And it is in these casual comments that this power and control is reinforced, structurally and repeatedly. It is in the attitude that two men walking down the street have, the confidence that they can joke about an intoxicated woman and be secure in their joking, because they are the ones in power and in control. They might claim they don’t really mean it, but they do; they mean to remind the world of the fact that they are in positions of dominance. It is in the comedian’s knowledge that he can make a ‘joke’ which is really a veiled threat and the audience will support him; not only that, but other comedians will rush to his defense, will raise red herrings like free speech to underscore their desire to protect the sacred right to make rape jokes, to threaten members of an audience who live in legitimate fear of experiencing rape during their lifetimes.
- When rape jokes aren’t funny, by Julie Burton and Michelle Kinsey Bruns
When women are told that they shouldn’t drink too much or walk alone at night or wear a revealing top, they are being given a guided tour of the boundaries of acceptable female conduct. Women are supposed to understand that these boundaries are policed by rapists. We cross the line at our own risk. And if we are caught, the brutal punishment is one we have earned.
- To all those men who don’t think the rape jokes are a problem, original author unclear
Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.
- Don’t Be This Guy, by Melissa McEwan
And I’m bothered by the thought of a woman who’s recently been raped, who’s just experienced what may be the worst thing that will ever happen to her, and turns on the telly to watch her favorite comedian and have a much-needed laugh—only to hear him using that horrible, life-changing thing as the butt of a joke. About cologne. Or a bad movie. For fuck’s sake. I still don’t understand—and I don’t believe I ever will—why anyone wants to be the guy who sends that shiver down her spine, who makes her eyes burn hot with tears at an unwanted memory while everyone laughs and laughs.
I’ve been following the VAWA reauthorization closely and for the first time in many years, this year there is a dichotomy between the two houses on which direction they choose to take it. In the House they have passed a reauthorization that takes so many steps back. The Senate expanded its version of the VAWA to protect more people (not just women). If this is something you’re passionate about like I am, you should write a letter to your state representative and urge them to protect all women and not just a select few.
Well said, the Senate version of VAWA is a great step forward in ensuring protections and resources for all people who are victims of sexual and domestic (intimate partner) violence, including marginalized individuals (who are at a higher risk of victimization).
We encourage you to take a few minutes and call your representative- here is some information on what to say if you’re unsure, lists of numbers to call, and other ways to get involved.