By definition, sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Millions of people become victims of sexual assault every year, and most of those victims go on to live with post traumatic stress disorder. Some will even take their own lives due to the harsh effects. Many victims and anti-supporters have been trying to shed light upon the subject of sexual assault for years, but it wasn’t until recently that the public began to take notice. Many of these awareness campaigns were started to educate people on the harsh realities of the hateful crime. Now these campaigns are for much more than just education. They are giving victims a voice, a chance to be heard. They are giving victims a sense of hope. They are showing victims that they are not alone. These campaigns are making an impact.
The campaign entitled, #BriefMessage, made a major impression this past month on International Women’s Day (March 8th). Artist aleXsandro Palombo told women to write a message opposing violence against women on a pair of underwear. He then took all the images and made a collage for the world to see. Many of the messages deemed to be powerful and compelling. Just take a look for yourself.
Another project called, “SlutWalk”, is an annual event in Chicago, Illinois. The event started after a police officer in Toronto, Canada, claimed, “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. This popular event now aims to help victims find their voice and to shine light on rape culture.
Can one women change the world? Apparently so. A women, by the name of Elonë, started a controversial campaign by hanging up sanitary pads, with feminist messages, around the city. Her main goal was to eliminate rape culture and promote gender equality. Since she hung up the pads on International Women’s Day, it has become a worldwide phenomenon. Thousands of people are now hanging up their own messages around their hometowns. Even though Elonë was attacked by thousands of critics, she started a campaign that millions of people can be thankful for.
19 year old Grace Brown has made a remarkable impact in the fight to end sexual assault, domestic violence, and chid abuse. Her project, “Project Unbreakable”, features over four thousand photographs of sexual assault victims, both men and women, holding posters with quotes from their attackers. Her project has become a form of healing for many victims and explains the importance of violence awareness. There is not much to be said about her project as her pictures explain it all.
Sexual assault is no joke. Thousands of people become victims each day. Making a difference is as easy as sending out a tweet or leaving a post-it note on the mirror of a public bathroom. Who knows? Your words could be saving someone’s life.
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