Let your voice be heard! No woman should suffer in silence. No woman should feel that their voice is not valuable enough to speak.
In January of 2018, the #timesup movement launched in the film industry shouting to women throughout America that TIME IS UP! It is time for sexual violence to no longer be tolerated in the workplace. It is time for members of the LGBTQ community, those with disabilities, and people of color to have their voices heard equally.
Actress America Ferrera spoke on the Today Show on January 4th, 2018, about the new Times Up Legal Fund. This fund, designed to provide legal support to those treated unfairly in the workplace, boosts the confidence of women who may otherwise be too afraid to speak up. This fund also helps with subsidized legal fees for those who need to fight sexual harassment cases or sexual violence cases.
According to the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. National surveys of adults suggest that between 9-32% of women and 5-10% of men report that they were victims of sexual abuse and/or assault during their childhood. The majority of male and female rape victims knew their perpetrator.
Call to Action
Now what? We can sit back and applaud the efforts of others. We can acknowledge that there are activists out there who want to make workplaces safer for women. But is that enough?
We must all recognize that we can no longer take the course of our parents and grandparents who swept controversy or misconduct under the rug, looking the other way. We cannot sit back and hope that the world becomes a better place for our daughters and granddaughters. And we certainly cannot trust our government to take care of this for us when our own President has been cited 19 times for some form of sexual misconduct, with members of Congress in the same boat.
We must act! There are many steps you can take to fight against sexual violence.
Call it what it is! Don’t sugar coat it. Understand sexual misconduct and how to recognize it. It is not just “men being men.” It is unwanted, sexual attention that causes alarm.
Stop slut shaming! Dress code, number of sexual partners, and birth control methods do not make it okay for a woman to be harassed or attacked. It is not a joke. Standing on the sidelines and allowing friends and coworkers to slut-shame someone is NOT acceptable.
Talk about it! Gone are the days where we pretend everything is fine when it is not. We cannot pretend our society is doing alright if a massive portion of our population deals with sexual violence each and every day.
It’s time to speak out, ladies. It’s time for your voices to be heard. It’s time to stop ignoring the issues, pretending it isn’t a big deal and call it what it is! It is sexual violence, and it is not acceptable any longer!