1.) Arm Yourself (With Knowledge)
As frustrating as the statistics surrounding these issues can be (ex: Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted) they are important to be aware of. Spend a minute on RAINN’s statistics page and there is absolutely no denying what an extreme problem we are facing. Spend another minute reading this list of 50 Rape Facts from the Huffington Post, and you won’t want to live on this planet anymore.
Understanding Rape Culture is the first step to being proactive against it.
2.) Arm Yourself (With Karate)
If you read the WikiHow page for “Preventing a Potential Rape” more than half of the 25 suggestions involve altering one’s day to day life in some way or another. If we were to follow those rules, we would all be wandering in herds, wearing gender-neutral onesies, shaving our heads, and having half a sip of the drink we just paid $10.00 for. And that, is my biggest problem: people view rape as something that is to be prevented by the woman, and not her attacker. We still live in a “she was asking for it” world, and unless we act against this, nothing will ever change. It’s time for a new front where women feel at liberty to dress and act in a way that makes them happiest, without an omnipresent potential threat.
Instead, it is women who should be the threat. Two of my favorite YouTube videos come from a channel called “Final Round Training” and demonstrate techniques on escaping and attacking in rape and sexual assault situations. Check them out HERE and HERE.
I also highly recommend WomenOnGuard.com. They’re essentially a women’s self-defense superstore where you can buy personal alarms, pepper spray, tasers etc. My personal favorite is the lipstick-shaped stun gun. The retailer also provides excellent, clear information on the use of each and every product.
In sum: A woman is not to be messed with.
3.) Share Resources
Not everyone is open or comfortable when talking about rape. We need to take it upon ourselves to educate the people in our lives and make sure they can have a dialog about this topic.
With friends, talk about how living in a world where Rape Culture exists has affected you. Talk about how you can have each other’s backs when you are out for a night or even just day to day.
With family, talk to the older generations about what the values and culture they were raised with and how that has impacted their treatment of women and the issue of rape. Talk to the younger generation about how mutual respect is always essential and how they can grow into people who fight against these crimes.
With partners, practice open consent, establish boundaries, use a safe word, and most importantly, never be afraid to say “no” or report something that went to far.
Why not start today by sending someone you care about one of these links? I guarantee you’ll end up having an important conversation.
4.) Speak Up!
If you see something, say something!
As a society, we usually just shrug these things off and decide to mind our own business. But why don’t we look out for each other a little bit more? Maybe everything is fine, maybe you did just get the wrong idea, but whatever small shred of discomfort you feel by asking “Is everything okay?” is not nearly worth the potential of a life changed forever.
5.) Disregard Everything Else and Live by THESE RULES: