Break the Silence—Stop Sexual Violence
May 13, 2008
SHHH! Listen! Do you hear those crickets? That’s the sound of silence when it comes to real, honest talk about sex. Whether you’re watching MTV’s A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, reading the latest issue of Cosmo or playing Grand Theft Auto IV, sex is there, smacking you in the face. But no one is talking about it!
It’s no surprise that we’re equally silent when it comes to talking about sexual assault. If most people can’t look you in the eye and say “vagina” without blushing, how do you think rape survivors feel when it’s time to speak out about being sexually assaulted? We live in a culture that silences the survivors of rape. And the intense shame and fear they often feel only makes it more difficult to talk about the trauma.
You might say, “It won’t happen to me.” Lots of people think that it won’t, but the truth is that rape can happen to anyone, at any time. And yes, even guys can be raped.
But what if you were raped? Would you keep it secret and live with the trauma for the rest of your life? Or would you break the silence, speak out and refuse to live in shame and fear?
There is power in speaking out, so use your voice and start talking! Because the more real, honest talk we have about sexual assault, the more people will understand that crimes like sexual assault aren’t about sex. They’re about a need for the perpetrator to control and humiliate another person. Breaking the silence is just the first step in putting an end to sexual assault.
If you live in the New York City area and want to take a stand against sexual assault, attend the Sexual Assault Yearly Speak Out (SAY SO!) on Sunday, May 18th from noon to 10 p.m. in Union Square Park. Join survivors of sexual assault, their supporters and volunteers from the local rape crisis community to generate awareness about sexual assault and to celebrate the healing and recovery of sexual assault survivors. For more information, visit the SAY SO! Web site.