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Ending Sexual Violence Beyond Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Contributing author: Jeanette Hamilton

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and in honor of sexual assault awareness, TCC created and displayed our own version of the Clothesline Project. The Clothesline Project is a way for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories by decorating t-shirts. You can learn more about the Clothesline Project at their website, clotheslineproject.info.

For our clothesline project, we displayed statistics and invited the local community to come in and decorate a paper t-shirt with one of five themes: SAAM hashtags, what healthy relationships look like, what consent is, what we all can do to stop sexual violence, and what the individual would say to survivors. 

 

The full TCC's Clothesline Project display.

Statistics

"44% of lesbians and 66% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women."

"Nearly half (48%) of bisexual women who are rape survivors experienced their first rape between ages 11 and 17."

"22% of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9% of heterosexual women."

"The 2015 US Transgender Survey found that 47% of transgender people are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime."

"46% of bisexual women have been raped, compared with 17% of heterosexual women and 13% of lesbians."

"40% of gay en and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape compared to 21% of heterosexual men."

"26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual man experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29% of heterosexual men."

"Among people of color, American Indian (65%), multiracial (59%), Middle Eastern (58%), and black (53%) respondents of the 2015 US Transgender Survey were most likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime."

Hashtags

"Place a blue sleeve on your t-shirt and write #SAAM #MeToo #TransToo #Enough"

"It was a nice night, until he wouldn't stop when I told him to multiple times. #MeToo"

"#Enough. Time is up. The time is now!"

"#TransToo"

"#MeToo"

"#Enough"

"#SAAM"

"#Strong" and a rainbow semicolon.

Healthy Relationships

"Place a green sleeve on your t-shirt and write what a healthy relationship looks like."

"Respect, honesty, and trust."

"Compromise and honesty and effort and trust and understanding."

"Compassion, strength, equality, patience, effort, support, smiles, laughter, consent, passion, empathy. That's what love is."

Consent

"Place a pink sleeve on your t-shirt and write what consent is."

"I'm NOT 'more okay' with you touching me because I'm not a woman."

"An ongoing, enthusiastic, and informed YES."

"Sex and Consent: -Sex without consent isn't sex. It's sexual assault. -Consent must be freely given. A person must understand what they are agreeing to, and they can change their mind at any time. -Consent needs to be clear and enthusiastic. The absence of 'no' or silence does not mean yes. -Past consent does not mean current or future consent. -When drugs and alcohol are involved, clear consent is not possible. A person who is intoxicated or impaired cannot give consent."

What We Can Do

"Place a teal sleeve on your t-shirt and write what we can do to end sexual violence."

"Don't be a passive bystander."

"Advocacy, support, belief, shoulder to cry n (or sleep), trust, education, love, kindness, empower, patience, justice, visibility, learn, listen"

To Survivors

"Place a yellow sleeve on your t-shirt and write what you would say to survivors."

"You don't deserve to be hurt. You are not any less deserving of respect if you have been hurt."

"You are not a victim!"

"You are not alone. You are loved."

"It hurts that you had to go through this, but you have a family that understands what you're going through."

"To survivors: I am so sorry for what's happened to you. You are still here today so I know you are brave, strong, and resilient. I want you to know that there are people who love and support you and it's okay if you don't wanna talk about it to them-- but there are those people there-- on your side."

"Don't get lost in the darkness, there's light somewhere."

"'We must send a message across the world that there is no disgrace in being a survivor of sexual violence-- the shame is on the aggressor.' -Angelina Jolie"

"Prioritize YOURSELF and YOUR healing. Don't worry about what others might think."

"You are not alone. And it is never your fault!"

"For anyone who didn't believe you or who reached out for help and was ignored- you are not alone. #TransToo. #MeToo. For those survivors, you are strong, valid, and loved. 'Today is going to be a good day and here's why-- today, at least, you're you, and that's enough.' -Dear Evan Hansen"

"Be safe, be secure. You deserve to make your own choices about your body and hose choices must be respected. For my sister."

"A family can't truly love you unless they can accept who you are as a person."


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