meg says watch this, Watch This

Watch This: “Auto Correct”

People are going to get tired of seeing me share about this, but I don’t care. As long as there are people who say they don’t understand this, then I will never be able to let this issue go, or be quiet about it. It’s important that we keep these conversations going. Apparently in a time when there is still so much “grey area”  and victim shaming of sexual assault – it’s necessary. Maybe claiming “not knowing what they’re doing is wrong,” is some people’s way of trying to get out of consequences for their actions. Anytime you have to “convince” someone, situations of coercion, or force them into something they don’t want to do, or just ignore their attempts at refusal, or violate an unconscious person – that isn’t right. There’s no grey about that. As long as there are Brock Turner’s in the world, and judges who refuse to accept that they should hold them accountable for their actions (at the very least) – then the conversations must continue. Sexual assault doesn’t always  involve violence – ripping of clothes, or walking away black and blue (though the psychological and emotional scars are there.) It’s not always a stranger pulling someone into a dark alley, just as often the attacker is someone the victim knows, sometimes even someone they trusted.  There continues to be talk about how women have to come forward in these situations, but have you looked at how they are treated so many times, when they do? Why don’t we talk about respect and boundaries before we get there? Furthermore, no means no. Sex without consent is rape. Period.

I woke up last weekend, and honestly thought it was an April Fool’s Joke that our current president spoke of April as “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.” On the WhiteHouse.gov website, the opening paragraph of the proclamation reads: “At the heart of our country is the emphatic belief that every person has unique and infinite value. We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it. Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated.” Nice sentiment and all, but this is coming from a man who has proudly bragged about assaulting women, degrading them, and is completely void of respect. How is that for awareness? It disgusts me what we deal with as a society, the standards that have been set, that people try and find ways to blame victims for what happened to them. (IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.)

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. Why are conversations continuously steered towards what someone is wearing when they are assaulted? Or if they were drinking? Or if they flirted with someone? Agreeing to go on a date with someone, does not mean you “owe them” sexual favors. None of these are an invitation to have your space and body violated.

It takes a brave person to share their personal experiences, and sometimes through this we realize that more people than you might’ve originally thought, can relate. In an effort to continue educating people, watch this video put together by the It’s On Us campaign that highlights even just how we need to change our conversations about this.

It’s important for victims to know this is never their fault, and they are not alone. If you or a friend needs to talk to someone about this, the National Sexual Assault Hotline # is 1-800-656-HOPE or visit notalone.gov

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