We have heard all sorts of #MeToo stories. It is an opportunistic time to begin imperative work towards creating a workplace and community that is free from sexual violence, oppression and gender inequality. But... who is the first person we need to speak with when we begin taking the initial steps towards prevention and creating safer environments? The response you are looking for is "yourself". Having a conversation with ourselves may sound a little weird but we should all remember what the infamous Michael Jackson said in his song, "I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways." In order to get over the barriers that prevent us from stepping out of the shadows of oppressive situations, it's on us to pave a path towards prevention.
90% of the college women who were sexaully assaulted knew their prepertrator, and only 20% reported the incident to law enforcement. #ItsOnUs is a social change campaign that Hearts of Hope is involved with to help bystanders in our community recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault. This campaign helps us learn how to intervene in situations where consent is not or cannot be given. When we are able to do this, we create an environment that is intolerant of sexual violence.
Join the movement by taking the PLEDGE to end sexual violence. Watch the VIDEOS of some of your favorite celebrities who've taken the PLEDGE and create your own for your personal social media pages. Be sure to tag @HeartsofHope and use our official hashtags #HeartsofHope & #NowMattersL8R along with #ItsOnUs. Over 400 schools, organizations, and individuals have made their own It’s On Us PSAs!
Engage your friends in conversations about affirmative consent. Download the DISCUSSION GUIDE to talk to your friends and peers about what consent means. It's important for people to know that they can't get it without getting consent. You can also download the BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TIP SHEET to help others learn how to immediately identify situations when sexual assault can occur and effectively intervene.
This information has been provided by the Hearts of Hope Education Director, Val Senegal.