Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM), April, is right here with us! It is of vital importance to increase awareness on sexual violence worldwide. This is my first time hearing about #SAAM! And, I am glad we get to engage in #SAAM, right here at 20s doses!
But, first what does sexual assault mean? Sexual assault is an umbrella term for:
- Unwanted sexual contact of any form.
- Sexual harassment.
- Child sexual abuse.
- Sexual violence, even with an intimate partner.
- Sexual exploitation.
- Human trafficking.
Today, we focus mainly on ending victim shaming, and actually holding perpetrators accountable! Additionally, awareness on consent will be a major part of today’s article! What is consent? What is not consent?
Read, learn, engage, and increase awareness in your circle of friends! Let’s get this message to many! Reader, reader on my blog, shall we?
Few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with a friend. We talked about the interview of judges, to see who’s fit to become the next Chief Justice. This led to a conversation on crimes, and justice generally. And, rape was particularly a major concept of conflict.
An interesting aspect was said ; “ raped victims are responsible. ” This statement confused me. Normally, when one commits a crime, he or she is responsible. But, apparently in rape it is inter changed.
My friend went on to say that, when a person goes to a party, gets drunk, and gets raped, then he or she was asking for it. This was utterly shocking! To say that in the event of rape, the victim is to blame is crossing a line of humanity!
In the event of rape, I can imagine the victim scared, screaming, shouting, terrified, crying, in agony, asking the perpetrator to stop, and asking for help.
For the perpetrator to continue being forceful, is equivalent to inhumanity! I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of pain for this victim! I can only listen, and pray for healing, peace of mind, and light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Teen vogue has a beautiful article filled with heart warming and encouraging messages from sexual assault survivors! Feel free to check it out!
Rape is an act of cruelty, wickedness, brutality, bestiality, vile, viciousness, and heartlessness! It is utterly barbaric! Whether drunk or sober, it is inexcusable! Rape shows how much one wants his or her way, even if it means hurting another person!
It is crossing a line of humanity! You don’t need a court to tell you that! Nor, do you need a sentence to know that! Courts taking a longer time in rape cases, doesn’t justify nor defend rape!
Today, you may be screaming “you are responsible” to victims of rape! But, tomorrow you don’t know if the next victim will be you, your sibling, your parent, your child, or even your friend! And, I am absolutely sure that, the last thing you would want to hear is, “ you are to blame” or “you are responsible”.
Human decency demands us to listen when not granted consent! Hence, the need to define what consent is, and what consent is not.
Beginning, we have what consent is not!
- Consent is not unconsciousness!
- Consent is not the short skirt “begging for it”.
- Consent is not the poor child who doesn’t know what you’re doing!
- Consent is not his or her drunkenness!
- Consent is not he or she came visiting!
- Consent is not because he’s my boyfriend or husband!
- Consent is not because she’s my girlfriend or wife!
- Consent is not I bought you food or drinks.
- And, consent is definitely not a real man is supposed to enjoy it! In fact, this is a despicable man!
It’s time we change this narrative! It’s time to end sexual assault culture! It’s time to stop defending sexual assault of any form! It’s time to stop having a ‘why’ for sexual assault!
It’s time to redefine what consent is!
Consent: a voluntary agreement to do something. Taking it a notch higher, we have enthusiastic consent.
Enthusiastic consent: everyone is into what’s happening and shows readiness through words and actions.
One California teacher, Liz Kleinrock, explained the concept of consent to her third graders with a simple chart.
As simple as it may look, it speaks volumes on consent to not only the pupils, but also adults!
Consent is a healthy, normal, and natural part of every sexual encounter. Asking and obtaining consent shows respect for yourself, and partner, creates boundaries, and eliminates entitlement that one may feel over the other person.
Neither your body, nor sexuality belongs to someone else! Hence, you own your body and sexuality! Not your boyfriend, or boss, or husband, or wife, or parent, or friend! Just you! You can decide what can or cannot be done!
Our role is to respect what the other person wants for their body and sexuality! To respect consent speaks volumes on who we are, how we relate with ourselves and others.
Remember, that one can give consent at the beginning, but in the middle of it refuse to go through with it. And, you, me, and all of us have to respect this decision.
Let’s normalize giving and withdrawing consent at any point! Hence, the emphasis on enthusiastic consent!
We have come to the end of today’s article! It has been a wake up call to change this barbaric narrative for victims of sexual assault! It has been a call to redefine consent in our relationships! It is a call of respect and mindfulness towards others!
Remember to ensure that the spaces we walk into, make those in it safe! Be it a work place, a party, at home, in a supermarket, in a bus, in a church, in school, in a library, etcetera. Basically, everywhere you walk into!
Spread this message to your circle of friends, and loved ones whether verbally, or through the article! Let’s make this world a safer place for all! #SAAM!
If you liked this article, give it a like, and share it! Feel free to engage in the comments section! Sending love and light on your way!