Infographic by Ultra Violet

I don’t have anything brilliant to say on the subject of rape culture. Rape culture is a cultural attitude that normalizes, tolerates, or condones rape. This post is not meant to be an argument over the extent that the United States is a rape culture, but rather to expose and take actions against the ways in rape culture attitudes prevail.

I think I mostly want to write this post because I’m disgusted at the reality and have been shocked and horrified at news stories lately focusing on obscene victim blaming. I’ve been disgusted by the reactions of Facebook friends to these news stories. And I’ve noticed the silence of those I know who have been raped. I don’t know how much talking about it here helps, but this obviously needs to be a national conversation. (And it already is. I’m not “starting the conversation” by any means.)

This post may contain triggers. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault in the United States, find a local crisis center here or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we supported the 2013 Campaign of the the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) to prevent sexual violence against children by talking about the characteristics of healthy childhood sexuality as our cause of the month. Read that post too if you haven’t already. I noted there that the post didn’t address rape culture, and I felt that it needed to.

Why? These folks say it better than I ever could:

Most of these links were found through the daily e-mails I receive from Upworthy, which provides links to interesting things that matter.

So what can you do? Teach your children how to not be rapists. Teach them the difference between coercion and consent. Report sexual violence, encourage others to do the same. Don’t vote for politicians who try to legalize certain forms of rape. Speak up when people you know do or say things that normalize rape. Support victims, not rapists. To learn how you can help more, visit RAINN.

Let's Get a Serious

Let’s Get Serious is a blog series in which we share our opinions and put ourselves out there. We get that not everyone thinks the same way; the same things don’t work for everyone. These are our opinions. They don’t have to be your opinions. We’d like to hear about what you think, but please don’t be mean to us. Let’s respect each other and talk about it!

Support the Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery, working to rescue young victims of sex trafficking in the U.S. Your support provides crisis intervention, with staff on call 24/7 to respond immediately to victims in crisis, and long-term care including counseling, emergency housing, food, emergency medical and mental health treatment. Above all, you give young girls a chance to rebuild their lives.