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National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

How Rape Jokes Contribute to Rape Culture

Madeline Wahl | Posted 06.30.2014 | Women
Madeline Wahl

The shock that materializes at the realization that someone close to you has been raped or sexually assaulted shatters reality and questions whether there is actually good in the world.

From Gossip to Bragging, How Girls and Boys Are Talking About Sex Is a Problem

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.30.2014 | Women
Katie Koestner

f boys and men speak of the act of doing, conquest, teamwork, and if girls retell the story without commentary and proudly support the boys' team, how can we delude ourselves into movement toward sexual equality and respect?

We Have the Right to Bodily Integrity No Matter What We're Drinking

Emily Renda | Posted 06.29.2014 | College
Emily Renda

I was a first year student out at a party drinking in the Fall, and a guy who insisted on walking me home invited me to hang out in his room. It's not unusual -- practically commonplace.

We Are Ready to Go Beyond Awareness in April

Laura Palumbo | Posted 06.29.2014 | Impact
Laura Palumbo

It means so much when voices come together to talk about sexual assault. As an activist, it's one of my favorite times of the year. It makes me wonder about what the world would look like if every month were April.

Just Say No To Rape.

Belle Knox | Posted 06.29.2014 | College
Belle Knox

I think that I should be able to wear whatever the hell I want without being labeled as a slut. This idea that men cannot control their impulses is archaic and offensive.

The Next Generation of Activists Is Keeping Us Honest

Claire N. Kaplan | Posted 06.28.2014 | College
Claire N. Kaplan

From where I sit, today's youth are far more engaged, far more concerned and truthfully, more prepared to deal with roadblocks than my generation, and they expect to carry on that activism after graduation.

We're Covering the National Mall in a Giant Quilt for Victims of Sexual Assault

Rebecca Nagle | Posted 06.28.2014 | Impact
Rebecca Nagle

The first blanket that was ever made for The Monument Quilt was the first time I ever told my story.

How a Culture of Victim Blaming Keeps Survivors From Speaking Out

Erin McKelle | Posted 06.28.2014 | College
Erin McKelle

I didn't feel that I would be believed by my family, not because of anything they said to me, but because of the implicit messages I received from society.

What Does It Mean to Be a Child of Rape?

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.25.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

"I am the product of my mother's rape." He spoke and moved at the same time. Like he wouldn't have said it unless he was moving.

The Student Government Leader Who Sexually Assaulted Me

Savannah Badalich | Posted 06.24.2014 | College
Savannah Badalich

Two weeks into my second year at UCLA, I was sexually assaulted by a friend and fellow Bruin during a student government retreat.

From Westeros to White Ribbon: Examining the Male Reaction to Rape

Winnie M Li | Posted 06.24.2014 | Women
Winnie M Li

A rape survivor myself, I wasn't so furious. In fact, I found it telling that Cersei Lannister could still be subjected to rape at the hand(s) of her own brother and former lover. Personally, I think that's a potent statement from the show's creators, reminding us that sexual assault can affect anyone regardless of how high you sit in a fictional society or in the real world.

Those Who Avidly Defend Manhood Are Often Its Biggest Traitors

Gordon Braxton | Posted 06.23.2014 | College
Gordon Braxton

To let many men tell it, they are experts at deciphering the intentions of women and wooing them towards a mutual attraction, but this confidence quickly disperses when it comes to discussion of sexual assault.

"I Don't Want to Be That Girl": The Story of Why I Don't Tell Stories About Sexual Assault

Terry O'Neill | Posted 06.23.2014 | Women
Terry O'Neill

In the first few weeks, the community really supports the rape victim, but then there is a shift and the rape victim becomes isolated while the community circles around to defend the perpetrator.

My Inbox Is Full of High School and Middle School Students' Stories of Sexual Assault

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.22.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

The email reads, "This fall he's been in one of my classes, and he won't stop touching me. I can't get him to stop."

Why I Stopped Talking About What Happened, And Why I'm Changing That

Grace Brown | Posted 06.21.2014 | College
Grace Brown

In the two years of working on Project Unbreakable, I never allowed myself to break. I focused on only giving others a voice. I didn't realize I had allowed my family anguish -- and myself -- to silence my own.

Most Colleges Got a D+ or Worse on Sexual Assault Policy. Here's How They Can Change That.

Selena Shen | Posted 06.21.2014 | College
Selena Shen

What does it look like for campuses to have comprehensive, survivor-oriented sexual assault policies? There are key steps to creating safer campuses.

What Being There for My Friend Who Was Raped Taught Me About Myself

Sacchi Patel | Posted 06.18.2014 | College
Sacchi Patel

Knowing that a man did this to her and that I'm a man made me feel extremely guilty. This was perhaps the very first time I ever uttered to myself, "I'm a man."

The Real Reason Many Young Men Say They Won't Report Being Raped

Katie Koestner | Posted 12.29.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

You are perceived as weak -- in mind and body -- if you say that you've been raped. I assume he is providing an observation of societal expectation. He is not. He is telling us why he never told anyone.

Taking Back the Night in Chicago

Nancy A. Matthews | Posted 06.17.2014 | Chicago
Nancy A. Matthews

The violence that doesn't get much attention in Chicago is the routine and relentless violence against women and girls that occurs every day -- dating violence, date rape, intimate partner violence, stalking.

Military Sexual Trauma Survivor Says NO MORE

Marcel Edwards | Posted 06.17.2014 | Women
Marcel Edwards

Like many military members who survive a sexual assault, the process of reporting the rape and seeking some justice was a long, despairing and ultimately fruitless effort.

The Mixed Message I Have to Send My Daughter About Her Body

Kiranjit K. Longaker | Posted 06.16.2014 | Parents
Kiranjit K. Longaker

I nurture in my daughter a terrible mixed message: one, that she has full sexual self-ownership, and two, that the specter of violence ultimately robs her of sexual self-ownership.

Let's Get Men and Boys off the Sidelines

Juliana Carlson | Posted 06.15.2014 | College
Juliana Carlson

It may seem intuitive that ending violence, and particularly violence against women and girls (VAW), requires the commitment of all community members.

Spending My Life Ending Sexual Violence, I Think the Government Should Spend Some Too

Terri Poore | Posted 06.15.2014 | Impact
Terri Poore

What most breaks my heart about this approach to funding is that, for the first time in my 20 years of doing this work, I can see that sexual violence is truly coming out of the shadows and that communities are ready to address the problem.

A College Vice President Confesses to Rape, Promises to Do Better

Katie Koestner | Posted 06.15.2014 | College
Katie Koestner

I say nothing. I am in the passenger seat of the car of a rapist. I am wearing my seatbelt. I am firmly affixed to his car. I wonder if he moved 3,000 miles away from the divorce or his victim?

It Really Takes a Village to Make Culture Change

Chai Shenoy | Posted 06.14.2014 | DC
Chai Shenoy

In February 2012, my small village of individuals in Washington, DC came to Pennsylvania Avenue and testified in front of the Council of the District of Columbia that they had been sexually harassed or assaulted on a bus or metro train of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the area's public transportation agency.