Why then, is our first instinct not to believe a woman who says she has been assaulted? Why is our instinct to protect her attacker from the consequences of his actions? Why is there a compulsion to excuse the behavior of men, to not only allow them to go without punishment but to advance in positions of power and grant them the ability to harm more women on a larger scale with fewer checks on that power?
Something has got to change. We have to start believing women. We have to trust their experiences. We have to value their lives and potential as much as we apparently value the potential of those who would perpetrate violence against them.
Instead of my normal Five Things Friday, I’m offering five ways you can support women this week. We need it right now.
From their website: RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
From their website:
Your donation to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center helps support our work to end sexual violence and makes a positive impact on the lives of survivors across the country. NSVRC works to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, prevention efforts, and the distribution of resources. With your help, we’re working toward a world free of sexual violence.
Your donation will:
- Support the creation of resources on sexual violence prevention
- Provide emergency funds to survivors and programs impacted by natural disasters
- Help facilitate technical assistance requests from coalitions, advocates, and others interested in understanding and eliminating sexual violence
- Support efforts to prevent child sexual abuse
Vote in your city elections. Vote in your state elections. Vote in federal elections. Start giving women and people of color a more representative voice. Stop making excuses for men who hurt women in the name of your political party.
4. Support female artists.
There are thousands of people out there right now using their art, whatever kind it may be, to cope and to support other women. Vote your confidence in them with your dollars. Encourage them to keep going. (All the photos above should link to where you can purchase them.)
5. Be mindful of survivors.
Many women but especially survivors feel enraged, invalidated, scared, frustrated and a laundry list of other emotions right now. Regardless of your political leanings, think before you speak and before you post. Remember that 1 in 5 statistic. Imagine that for every 5 women you are friends with on Facebook, 1 of those women has been assaulted. When you post a lack of belief in women coming forward about Kavanaugh, you’re reminding her of the consequences of coming forward with her own truth. You’re making her wonder if her experience matters less than your political agenda. This advice should apply always, but especially now: just be kind. Be empathetic. Be thoughtful. Be mindful.
Take care of yourselves this weekend friends, and take care of each other. The world demands it.