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Preventing Sexual Violence

Rape culture is a term often used to explain the nature and pervasiveness of sexual violence within our society. While sexual violence is perpetrated by individuals who are fully responsible for their choices, rape culture explains how social norms may excuse or encourage sexual violence. Rape culture is upheld both by individuals and institutions.

A culture ideologically opposed to rape culture is a culture of consent. In a culture of consent, the severity of harm caused by sexual violence is respected and addressed by individuals and institutions. Respect for other’s bodies and boundaries is emphasized and normalized, and perpetrators of sexual violence are held accountable for their actions by the law and the community. In a culture of consent, we all take responsibility for creating a world free from sexual violence. Some actions that can help foster a culture of consent include:

If someone you know has experienced sexual violence, learn how to support them as a friend, partner, faculty member, or parent.  

Communities, Identity, and Sexual Violence
Intersectionality is a term used to describe how different types of oppression and discrimination interact with each other and affect one’s privilege and experience in society. A person’s multiple identities are not mutually exclusive and they “intersect” to create a unique experience. Forms of discrimination like racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia interrelate and create a complex system of oppression. People who possess more than one marginalized identity (ex: black women, queer people with disabilities, transgender Muslims) often have their specific experience with discrimination overlooked or even erased in favor of the narratives of people within those groups who hold more privileged positions. Personal identities and communities can significantly impact a survivor’s experience of safety, healing, acceptance, and connection; intersectionality is also vital to include in conversations about rape culture and community prevention of sexual violence.

At CARE, we recognize the importance of intersectionality when working with survivors and their communities. We work to continuously educate ourselves on various systems of oppression. However, we know some people are more comfortable working with advocates who also possess their identities and are members of their communities. We are always happy to refer survivors to resources that cater to your specific needs. Some local options are listed below:
Online Resources

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