“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young
I try to keep things pretty light over here. Humorous, pretty, happy, all positive things. But I am feeling kind of deep tonight…
Something I hardly ever talk about is what I did with the semester I took off in between high school and college. I volunteered for my local sexual assault 24 hour crisis intervention line. Before being alone for your 12 hour shift, there was an intense training period. The training was twice a week in the evenings as well as all day Saturday. We were taught all about sexual assault, sexual abuse, flashbacks, triggers, everything. We were taught how to ‘deal’ with women who called in while they were in crisis, suicide prevention and how to ‘talk someone down’ from taking their life.
With all of the training you receive, nothing will ever prepare you for that first phone call. The phone call from someone who tells you they haven’t gotten out of bed in a week after they were raped from their brother’s best friend – the person who they considered to be like a brother. The phone call where they blame themselves for not wearing enough clothes, for having one drink too many, or second guessing if they shouted “NO” enough times..
Phone calls like that, leave much more than an emotional effect on you. Phone calls like that change you. Phone calls like that make you realize that could be you. Phone calls like that – hearing someone live through every woman’s worst fear – makes you realize you truly are never safe.
I am sure you have heard of the #YesAllWomen campaign which is going heavily on Twitter right now. If you haven’t you can read about it here.
I sent out a few tweets about it tonight. After my 5th tweet, my notification centre was blowing up. A lot of favourites, and retweets – yes, but I also had 12 replies from guys who were trying to argue, rationalize, or justify rape or violence against women.
There is no rationalization. There is no argument. There is no justifying.
#YesAllWomen because “What were you wearing” should never be the first question (or even a question) asked to a rape victim
#YesAllWomen because it’s not about what she wore, or how much she had to drink, it’s about him committing a crime and assaulting her
#YesAllWomen because guys do not say “my ex has something of mine but I’m too scared to go and get it
#YesAllWomen because men don’t text each other to say they made it home safely
#YesAllWomen because men don’t have to go in pairs to the washroom
#YesAllWomen because “It’s not rape if you enjoy it – it’s just surprise sex”
#YesAllWomen because rape should never be a joke
#YesAllWomen because I don’t want my daughter to have to constantly look over her shoulder in parking garages and having to carry her keys like a weapon
#YesAllWomen because this hashtag has to exist; because this has to be a conversation at all
#YesAllWomen because the chance of getting attacked by a shark is 1 in 3.7M , yet the chance of being sexually assaulted in 1 in 6
#YesAllWomen because we are taught that yelling “FIRE” is more effective than yelling “RAPE”
#YesAllWomen because if someone kills you because your shirt ‘provoked them’ they would be charged with murder
#YesAllWomen because “no” should be enough
#YesAllWomen because my college offered ‘safe walks’ where security would walk you to your car
#YesAllWomen because being on an elevator alone with a man shouldn’t be frightening
#YesAllWomen because when a man says ‘no’ in this culture it is the end of the discussion. When a woman says ‘no’ it’s the beginning of a negotiation
#YesAllWomen Because it effects half of the total population
#YesAllWomen Because it could be me