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Disrupt Rape Culture

April 1 marks the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and we’re spending the next 30 days (and beyond) to talk about what rape culture is, where it happens, and how we can all take a brave step today to be disruptors. We encourage each of you to join us on this journey to disrupt rape culture.

What is rape culture? 

Rape culture is the systems, beliefs, and behaviors rooted in patriarchy that allow for its prevalence in society. Remember that rape culture goes beyond an act of sexual violence—it can also be subtle and live in the ways we think, speak and act that ultimately undermine our autonomy and consent. As survivors, we know firsthand just how prevalent it is, infiltrating all aspects of our lives from social media, classrooms around the country, and even in our homes. While rape culture is pervasive, be clear: As survivors, together, we are more powerful and you are not alone

While we can’t undo the past harm done to us, we can work to build a future free of sexual violence—one action at a time. This SAAM, we are calling on those who care about us and are in community with us to be disrupters of rape culture. 

If there was ever a time to stand up and radically transform this world, it’s now.

Throughout the month, we will be providing a series of offerings to encourage each of you to take our monthly theme of disrupting rape culture to the next level.

  • Changing your social media profile pic: To show your support, please change your profile picture to one of our “Disrupt Rape Culture,” icons and encourage your family, friends, and followers to do the same. Download here and make sure to tag ‘me too’ and add the hashtag #DisruptRapeCulture. 
  • “Where Does Rape Culture Happen?”: On April 5, will are launching a powerful social media campaign highlighting all of the places where rape culture exists. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so you don’t miss it.
  • Show Up To Disrupt: An Intimate Conversation + Teach-In; Sunday, 4/18/2021, 2 pm EST; Panel discussion will be live-streamed on Facebook; The Teach-In is limited to 30 participants, Register for the Teach-In here.
    • Following this conversation, participants will have the opportunity to practice showing up to disrupt rape culture. This collectively held brave space will move participants through scenarios that perpetuate rape culture and practice intervening through a theater of the oppressed-style workshop. Participants will walk away with tools to show up at the moment to support survivors and disrupt rape culture. The Teach-In portion of the event will be limited to 30 participants. Register here.Join us for an intimate conversation amongst survivors as they discuss rape culture and ways to disrupt it. We often say listen to survivors, but we know the voices of survivors are often lost in the outcomes that bring about justice and accountability. This Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we want to listen with even more intention so that we can each find our role in disrupting rape culture.

      Learn what it was like from survivors for someone to act as a disruptor on their behalf, what it was like when people did not step up, and the ways they want to encourage us all to show up to disrupt. Listen to our conversation with Founder and Executive Director of The HEAL Project Ignacio G. Hutía Xeiti Rivera, ‘me too,’ Chief Communications Officer Denise Beek, and ‘me too.’ Strategic Consultant Nikita Mitchell and learn what it was like from survivors for someone to act as a disruptor on their behalf, the experience of people not showing up to support them, and the ways they want to encourage us all to show up to disrupt. Together, we will consider the power to be a disruptor. This conversation will be open to the public and will be streamed through our Facebook page.

      Watch the recording here or on our YouTube channel.

    • Action Begins With You: Want to take action to disrupt sexual violence in your community? Here are some tools to get you started, from evidence-based research to facilitation guides and exercises. You can use this toolkit as a guide for the Teach-In. 
  • We, As Ourselves x The Center for Cultural Power partnership
    • When artists and storytellers rally around core narratives, we can upend historical and cultural narratives that harm and silence Black survivors, creating conditions where the stories of Black survivors can be heard, believed, and supported. Within our We, As Ourselves collaboration, along with The Center for Cultural Power, we invited five artists to share stories around these narratives, and next week, we’ll be in conversation with two of them on Instagram Live (handle: @metoomvmt).On Monday, April 19 at 6 pm EST, we will be in conversation with writer LySaundra Campbell (@lysaundrajanee) about her powerful piece, A Survivor’s Sonata. Woven together with the themes of By Us, For Us, Ancestral Connections, and Black Joy, LySaundra’s story highlights Black women in her family and life, disrupts generational trauma, and explores the fullness of joy.On Thursday, April 22 at 8 pm EST, filmmaker Kaila Cherry (@kailuvv) will talk to us about her piece, Girl Like You, an experimental short film that explores a young Black woman’s experience with romantic love, the impact of past relationships on self-image, and the process of finding power without male approval.